|Operator||PuRen Germany GmbH|
|Elevation AMSL||53 ft / 16 m|
Lübeck Airport (IATA: LBC, ICAO: EDHL) is a minor German airport located 8 km (5.0 mi) south of Lübeck, the second-largest city in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, and 54 km (34 mi) northeast of Hamburg. Until all scheduled air traffic ceased on 15 April 2016, it was the secondary airport for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region after the much bigger Hamburg Airport and was used for low-cost and some occasional charter traffic. The airport was therefore sometimes called "Hamburg Lübeck" for marketing purposes.
The construction of the airport began in 1916 and was completed in 1917 when it started its operations as an airbase. At the end of World War I the airbase was shut down. In 1933, it was re-opened and extended by the Luftwaffe. During the Berlin Blockade after World War II, the Royal Air Force flew coal to Berlin and refugees to West Germany using Douglas DC-3 Dakota aircraft.
Development into a low-cost airport
After the re-unification of Germany, the airport started to grow slightly when several airlines started flying to Lübeck. In 1997, the arrival terminal was re-constructed and extended.
Ryanair started to operate from the airport in 2000 with the first flights to London-Stansted. Ryanair's route system extended over the years until 2009. Wizz Air started operations in 2006 with flights to Gdańsk and later other eastern European destinations. Discussions about Ryanair opening a base at the airport have been held since 2009 without results.
Infratil, an infrastructure investment company from New Zealand held a 90% shareholding from November 2005 until the end of October 2009 when it sold its shares back to the City of Lübeck. The new principal operator Flughafen Lübeck GmbH had been searching for an investor since then when in 2013 the airport had been sold to a private investor.
In 2010, both the financial crisis and the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull led to a general decrease in passenger numbers and destinations.
A new ILS CAT II system went operational in February 2014 allowing planes to operate at the airport in more difficult weather conditions. As of March 2014 there are four lawsuits active against a further expansion of the airport.
On 23 April 2014 Lübeck Airport filed for bankruptcy. A few days earlier it was reported that the owner, which bought the airport in 2013, had pulled out again. The airport continued to operate while the liquidator reviewed possible strategies. In July 2014, the bankrupt airport was sold to Chinese investor PuRen Germany GmbH, a subsidiary of PuRen Group.
In June 2014 Ryanair announced it would leave Lübeck Airport as of October 2014 due to the airport's uncertain future. Later this date was revised to July 2014 when the year-round route to Bergamo as well as the seasonal services to Palma de Mallorca and Pisa ceased. Meanwhile, Ryanair announced it would start new routes from Hamburg Airport instead.
In September 2015, the airport's new owner, the German subsidiary of the Chinese PuRen Group, also declared bankruptcy. The state of Schleswig-Holstein had already announced it would not invest in the airport. New investors were sought and operations would be maintained until further notice. As of January 2016, the selection process for a new owner of the airport is still ongoing.
In March 2016, Wizz Air announced that it would cease all operations to and from Lübeck by 15 April 2016, leaving the airport without any scheduled passenger services. The routes to Gdańsk, Kiev-Zhulyany and Skopje were relocated to Hamburg Airport, while the flights to Riga as well as the newly established route to Sofia would cease without replacement.
The last scheduled commercial flight, a Wizz Air service to Sofia, left Lübeck at 20:05 local time on 15 April 2016.
Lübeck Airport features one small terminal building, containing check-in facilities, a shop and some restaurants. The apron features three stands for walk-boarding, which are suitable for mid-sized aircraft such as the Airbus A320, as well as some stands for smaller general aviation aircraft.
Airlines and destinations
As of 16 April 2016, there are no commercial scheduled or charter flights at Lübeck Airport. The nearest major international airport is Hamburg Airport, approx. 60 km (37 mi) to the southwest.
|Source: ADV, Lübeck Airport|
The local bus line 6 runs every 30 minutes and connects the airport with Lübeck's main bus station ("ZOB"). A regional shuttle bus, line A20, runs from the airport to Hamburg's central train station, stopping at the central coach station "ZOB" nearby. The schedule of the A20 depends on the aircraft arriving in and departing from Lübeck.
Regional trains run every hour between Kiel and Lüneburg, stopping at the airport's own station Lübeck-Flughafen as well as Lübeck main station. Connecting trains are available at Lübeck Hauptbahnhof or in Büchen to Hamburg and other destinations.
- EAD Basic. Ead.eurocontrol.int. Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Verkehrsflughäfen (ADV) – monthly statistics 12/2010. (PDF) . Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- Hamburg Lubeck Airport Guide – Hamburg. Travel-library.com. Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- Sale of Lübeck Airport Archived 25 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Klage gegen Flughafenausbau in Lübeck beschäftigt bald Gericht. airliners.de. Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- ILS CAT II am Flughafen Lübeck erfolgreich in Betrieb gegangen. airliners.de. Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- (German) Blankensee ist pleite: Nach Führungs-Chaos: Flughafen Lübeck insolvent – Wirtschafts-News – FOCUS Online – Nachrichten. Focus.de (23 April 2014). Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- (German) Bruchlandung für Lübeck. shz.de. Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- Luftfahrt-Nachrichten und -Community. aero.de (25 April 2014). Retrieved on 23 May 2014.
- airliners.de - Betrieb am Flughafen Lübeck geht vorerst weiter (German) 2 October 2015
- aerotelegraph.com - "Lübeck loses all scheduled flights" 17 March 2016
Media related to Lübeck Airport at Wikimedia Commons