June 3, 2020 / 2:09 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Berlin's Tegel airport delays closure with travel recovery expected

(Recasts with confirmation, detail)

BERLIN, June 3 (Reuters) - Germany’s Tegel airport in Berlin is to remain open until November to deal with an expected large increase in air passengers as countries lift travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus, its operator said on Wednesday.

The airport in western Berlin had been due to shut in June, at least temporarily, leaving another one, Schoenefeld, to handle flights to and from the capital before a long-delayed new airport opens on Oct. 31.

Earlier, Germany said it would lift a travel ban for EU members, plus Britain, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland from June 15 provided there were no entry bans or large-scale lockdowns in those countries.

Given distancing restrictions at airports linked to the coronavirus, more space than expected would be needed until the new airport opens, operator FBB said in a statement.

“To be able to organise the increasing air traffic in an operationally reliable and health safe manner until (the new airport) is commissioned, Tegel airport is to remain in operation as originally planned until 8 November 2020,” it said.

FBB added that it expects traveller numbers in Berlin to rise to up to 20,000 per day by the end of July. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Michelle Martin and Ed Osmond)

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