Starting today, Frankfurt Airport is using all its terminals and runways as it looks to recover from the devastation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Northwest runway is back in action
The Northwest runway is the least used of the 4 runways in Frankfurt, Germany, as it is used only for landing flights and is a long taxi from the terminal building. The airport had said that it would reopen all the runways when sufficient travel levels had returned.
Today marks that day as Lufthansa flight LH893 became the 1st flight to land on the runway at 06:54 since it closed in mid-December 2020.
As aforementioned, Frankfurt Airport has 4 runways. 3 of them run parallel in the direction 07-25 while the 4th runway pointing to the south (18) is used solely for departures in one direction. Given the reduction in air traffic, the airport didn’t need all of its runways operational.
This resulted in the Northwest runway closing down in mid-December for the 2nd time since the pandemic began. Closing the runway meant that cash could be saved as the airport didn’t need to pay for firefighters, air traffic controllers, and other facilities related to the runway. The closure also meant that significant space could be opened up for aircraft storage. German flag carrier Lufthansa took advantage of the additional space to store its parked Boeing B747-8 aircraft.
Terminal 2 is back
It’s not just that the Northwest runway is back in business. 1st June 2021 (today) also marks the opening of Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 2. While all the runways at the airport were reopened in the 2nd half of 2020, the same could not be said for the terminals. Terminal 2 is now handling flights from 48 airlines, including airBaltic, Emirates, Vistara and British Airways.
This morning, the 1st flight to use Terminal 2 was a TUIfly Boeing B737 headed to Rodes Island in Greece.
COVID-19 safety measures in the terminal include 3,000 floor markings, 480 see-through partitions at check-in, counters, 30 disinfectant dispensers, and the blocking off of every other seat in waiting areas. The airport said that ‘some restaurants’ at the terminal will reopen, ‘focusing initially on meeting travellers’ basic needs’. All supply of food and beverages will be on a takeaway basis until further notice.
Other facilities to resume operations at the terminal include Duty Free, a pharmacy, currency exchange and car rental services. A list of open shops and restaurants (updated daily) is available on the airport website at fraport.com. Note that the terminal’s Visitor Terrace remains closed, with a scheduled reopening planned for August – interested customers should consult fra-tours.com.
Sascha Konig, Head of Fraport AG’s terminal resource management department, said:
We’re very pleased to announce that, after more than a year, Terminal 2 will finally be reopening. This will put us in an excellent position for handling the predicted increase in passenger volumes during the upcoming summer months. Of course, we’re also doing everything possible to prevent infection and safeguard the health of our passengers and employees at Terminal 2.
Lufthansa reopens its First Class lounge
Now taking about Terminal 1, home airline Lufthansa has reopened its First Class lounge in Terminal 1. Due to Frankfurt’s current COVID-19 regulations, food and drink cannot currently be served in the lounge, meaning that passengers must use a take-away selection.
In the months ahead, Lufthansa plans to reopen more lounges while also making the First Class Terminal available again soon.
Featured image by Frankfurt Airport
What do you think of Frankfurt Airport’s reopening of the Northwest runway and Terminal 2? Let me know in the comments section below.