Travel warning lifted More aircraft take off from Cologne/Bonn Airport
Cologne/Bonn · Around 1000 passengers took off from Wahner Heide on Sunday and Monday. Airport Managing Director: The travel bug is coming back.
There was no talk of mass congestion at Cologne/Bonn Airport. On Sunday there were about a thousand passengers, and on Monday not much more, as airport spokesman Alexander Weise reported. Before the Corona era, 30,000 to 40,000 passengers a day were channelled through the gates. On Monday there were seven destinations again on the departure list: Hamburg, Zurich, Vienna and Mallorca, among others. The first sunshine destinations in Spain, Croatia, Bulgaria, Portugal and Greece are now being added again. This Tuesday, for example, there will be a flight to Izmir in Turkey. The number of flights is slowly increasing again, particularly in domestic German traffic.
"Little by little, life is returning to our airport. We are delighted about every aircraft that rolls over our apron and every passenger who travels again from Cologne/Bonn. It is unmistakable that the passengers' desire to travel is coming back. The airlines are reacting to this - the resumption of operations will begin in June, initially on a small scale, and then we expect to gradually increase operations in July," said Johan Vanneste, Chairman of the Board of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.
At the check-in in Terminal 1, B01-B03, for the flight to Mallorca, there was a spooky calm. Only a British TV team was spreading excitement. The reporters were stranded at the Airport. "Today, they only take business travellers or residents of the island with them," the reporter complained, while energetically discussing with the airline staff. In one hand her booking confirmation, in the other her mobile phone with the boss in London on the line. Her cameraman explained: "We booked the flight as a private trip - a small mistake, very unpleasant."
No booking problems were encountered by Joachim Reuter, businessman from Bonn, owner of a real estate company. For the last while, Reuter and his colleague Wolfgang Baumann were only in contact with the employees on site by phone and e-mail. "For our ‚island dreams' we need appointments and on-site visits. We hope that now customers from Germany can come as quickly as possible", said Reuter. The Corona crisis has changed the range of real estate on offer: "In their distress, people try to sell their inherited house, for example, as quickly as possible because they need the money.“
Four construction workers also signalled restrained joy over the flight. "The construction site is currently idle, we were on short time. Now work should slowly start to pick up again," said one of them at the check-in. A couple who work in the hotel industry in Germany and on Mallorca also wanted to see how things are going at work. They were in a hurry. The couple had nothing to fear from waiting or crowding in the corridors. Nor did they need to be distracted by tempting offers from the shops. The airport shops for fashion and accessories are largely closed. Instead of suitcase rumbling, only the announcements with instructions for protection against the corona virus echo through the long aisles.
The airlines themselves have also reacted to the situation with comprehensive hygiene measures. On all trips with Eurowings, passengers must wear a mouth and nose protector, both at the airport and on board, Eurowings spokesman Florian Gränzdörffer announced. The processes are precisely defined: At the security checkpoint, distances of at least two arm lengths from other passengers must be maintained. Boarding is contactless, passengers hold the barcode of their ticket up to the reader. Although the cleaning cycles in the cabins are increased, each passenger receives a disinfectant wipe to clean the surfaces in the area of the seat when boarding.
The company spokesman did not provide any information on booking figures "basically for reasons of competition". "But we are noticing an increasing demand for tourist flights, especially to Mallorca", said Gränzdörffer. From Cologne, Eurowings will fly eleven times to Palma de Mallorca next week, and 28 times the following week.
At the airport preparations have been made in anticipation of the return of passengers. As Weise reported, masks are mandatory in the terminal, distance markings have been applied throughout the terminal, seating has been straightened, protective walls have been erected at the check-in counters and much more. "Processes have also been optimised to reduce the risk of infection at the airport to a minimum," said Weise. In addition, all departures and arrivals will continue to be handled in Terminal 1.
According to Weise, 45 destinations of twelve airlines are currently planned: That's around 250 weekly take-offs and landings. In addition to several domestic German destinations, Eurowings also flies to Zagreb, Sarajevo, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Vienna and Zurich. The Hungarian Wizz Air connects Cologne/Bonn with Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Varna on the Black Sea and Skopje in Macedonia. Ryanair plans to resume flights to tourist destinations such as Palma, Barcelona, Malaga, Madrid, Seville and Porto in July. Tuifly has also announced some destinations: Fuerteventura, Las Palmas, Tenerife as well as Heraklion, Kos and Rhodes.