Germany's unusual potential for three main airport hubs - or even four or five

The Federal Republic of Germany comprises sixteen states, each with its own constitution and with a large degree of autonomy over its affairs. Thus, the way its aviation infrastructure has developed is dissimilar to the pathways found in many other European countries, in that there is less centralised planning and control from the capital.

Berlin is the country’s largest city and will (eventually) be served by the Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI) airport currently under construction. There are still numerous issues surrounding the construction: the opening date, a merger with the existing Schoenefeld Airport next door, and whether or not the city’s busier airport, Tegel, should be closed or should remain open.

There are clear opportunities for Lufthansa to establish a major presence at Berlin when the airberlin and BBI sagas are finally over and the capacity it seeks is available. There are two other cities which justifiably could seek a greater commitment from Lufthansa: Hamburg and Duesseldorf.

In the immediate future, the first objective is to bring Berlin back in from the cold.

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