For the past 15 months, the aviation industry went through a tough period, probably excluding aircraft storage facilities. Also, travelers were looking out for when will Frankfurt Airport reopen its terminals. As of March 2020, the terminal was closed due to a decrease in flight operations on behalf of the pandemic severity. Meanwhile, the airport utilized the downtown to carry out “huge upgrades, repairs and modernization plans.”
The deterioration of the travel and tourism industry caused by the increase in COVID-19 case rates. Since December, the northern terminal has been closed, while Terminal 2 has been closed for almost a year.
Nevertheless, there is hope from the reduced COVID-19 case rates and associated with an expanded amount of vaccine availability will make extensive travel a possibility again. And the interesting facts about air travel is that the number of traffic seems to be increasing gradually, confirming this.
Northwest Runway Resumption
The northwest runway is of least usage as it is used only for landing purposes, and it is a long-distance taxi ride from the terminal. The airport stated that it would resume the runway once sufficient traffic levels had returned.
On June 1st, at 06:54, LH893 was the first flight to land on the runway since it was closed in mid-December. A RadarBox.com report indicates that D-AILL, a 24-year old Airbus A319, operated the aircraft which departed Riga at 05.57.
Four runways serve the Frankfurt Airport. Fourth runway pointing towards the south (18), used only for departures in one direction, whereas three runways run parallel in the direction 07-25. As a result of low air traffic, Frankfurt Airport did not need to operate all its runways.
Consequently, since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-December, the northwestern runway was closed for the second time. The airport could save money on closing this runway since they no longer needed to pay for the firefighters, air traffic controllers, and other runway-related facilities. Also, it means that a large amount of storage facility was available at the airport, which Lufthansa utilized to store its parked Boeing 747-8 aircraft.
Terminal 2 Resumes Its Operation
Frankfurt Airport not only reopened its northwestern runway on June 1st, but also the airport’s Terminal 2 was also reopened on the same day. While all runways were opened during late 2020, it couldn’t be the same about the terminals. AirBaltic, British Airways, Emirates, Vistara and 45 other airlines will return to the terminal from June 1st.
During the morning of June 1st, TUIfly Boeing 737 to Rhodes Island in Greece was the first flight using Terminal 2. The 9-year-old aircraft with the registration as D-ATUJ left Frankfurt 23 minutes delayed at 05:08, took off from Runway 18, from the other side of the airport.
Lufthansa Reopens First Class Lounge
Being the home airline, Lufthansa resumes its First Class Lounge facilities in Terminal 1. The lounge is open from 06.00 to 21.30 but to take note; the airline is promoting the space only as “for passengers to have an exclusive and most comfortable place to relax while waiting for flight take-off.” Furthermore, according to the Frankfurt Airport regulations concerning the COVID-19, no food and beverages are consumed in the airport lounge, but Lufthansa offers a takeaway menu with “a good selection of food and beverages” for guests to consume outside of the facility.
During the next few months, Lufthansa will reopen more lounges, and the First Class Terminal will also be available. Thus, Frankfurt aviation seems to perceive some light at the end of the tunnel!