Bye bye TXL. The last Lufthansa flight took off at Tegel Airport on Saturday evening. For many guests it was an emotional moment. And the airport again clearly presented all of its shortcomings.
Bye bye TXL
The last Lufthansa flight from Berlin-Tegel has not even taken off when the airport once again presented its shortcomings as a farewell. It is difficult to evade in the terminal, its aisles are so narrow. There is a traffic jam in front of the security check at Gate Double Zero. The waiting area is hopelessly overcrowded because it is not designed for a full long-haul aircraft, there is even a line in front of the toilets. The frequent flyer lounge is in front of the security check, which is a rarity in the world.
And yet for those who came it was a moment full of emotions when the passenger boarding bridge creaked towards the Lufthansa Airbus A350. It is the last Lufthansa flight from Tegel Airport. And the finale of the last regular operating day at Otto Lilienthal Airport. That is why Lufthansa also flies the long-haul plane, which is unusual for the route.
Passengers on this evening are aviation enthusiasts, the curious and a few people who just want to fly from Berlin to Munich. Stories from airline operations are exchanged, which corner of the visitor terrace offered the best place, where the first flight from Tegel as a child went and which devotional objects could still be secured. A former Lufthansa Technik employee tells how the phone rang in the early 2000s and it was Donald Trump’s turn. He wanted to know whether he should take a Boeing 757 or a Boeing 767 as an airplane.
It was almost exactly 30 years ago that Lufthansa’s first jet, an Airbus A310-300, landed in Tegel. Before that, this was not allowed because the GDR did not tolerate any scheduled aircraft from the Federal Republic over its airspace. The police orchestra then played “This is the Berlin air” to the rhythm of the march, the pilot waved from the window and the then Lufthansa boss Heinz Ruhnau beamed. There was a spirit of optimism. The crane was back in the city where its forerunner was founded in 1926 as “Luft Hansa”.
After all, a Lufthansa aircraft will probably stay in Berlin-Tegel for the time being. It’s a Boeing 707, it’s in the southwestern corner of the airport. The aircraft even carries a Berlin bear on its fuselage in the Lufthansa livery at the time. The historic long-haul aircraft with the registration D-ABOC was a gift from Boeing to Lufthansa; she previously flew for the Israeli line El Al and came to Berlin-Tegel in 1986 with the help of a trick. Since then, the obese oldie has stood at the airport and served the airport fire brigade as a training object. What is happening to her? Not clear.