Munich Airport is one of the few gateways around the world being rated with 5-star by Skytrax. “Our airport does not look to be the biggest but the best”, told Corinna Born, Head of International Media Relations for the Airport. “We are ranking only 7th with 41 million passengers last year but we are delighted to be among the best”, she explained during a tour at the airport.
The airport is likely to boost its appeal among world passengers flying into Europe. On Tuesday, Munich Airport inaugurated the expansion of Terminal 2, the dedicated facility hosting German carrier Lufthansa and its 17 partners from Star Alliance. The new Satellite boosts total capacity at Terminal 2 by another 11 million additional passengers. “This is like a new terminal as it is the equivalent of a medium size airport such as Cologne or Stuttgart”, stressed in its inaugural speech Markus Söder; Bavaria State Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Munich Airport. With a total floor space of almost 400,000 m2, the facility can now accommodate 36 million passengers a year.
Opened in 2003 only, Lufthansa and Star Alliance Terminal 2 has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade. “When we opened our facility over a decade ago, we recorded only eight million passengers per year. We would have never thought to see 27 million of travellers flying with us in such a short time span”, highlighted during the opening ceremony Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
With its Satellite, Terminal 2 can now accommodate 51 aircraft in direct contact to the Terminal. The number of gates jumped from 112 to 164, five new lounges have been added while passport screening counters and security screening positions almost doubled. Munich wants to remain a quick transfer airport. “With the satellite, our minimum connecting time is slightly up, fom 30 to 35 minutes. We still offer one of the shortest transit times in Europe although most of our passengers have on average a transit of 90 minutes which guarantees a stress-free and convenient connection”, said Born. A dedicated underground connects in just a minute time the Satellite to Terminal 2.
For Asian passengers, the airport is indeed an easy and pleasant gateway and transfer place. It offers streamlined easy connections, short walks, a pleasant environment and above all a large shopping offer. The new satellite adds some 15 new shops and a dozen restaurants, offering international brands but also local Bavarian crafts, food and brands. Free wi-fi, public shower facilities, lounges and even a home brewery – Munich is the only airport in the world to have its own beer brand- turns Munich into an ideal hub airport for Asians to Europe.
Not to forget also for passengers in transfer the opportunity to venture around the airport area. For travellers having at least four hours, the nearby charming city of Freising (15 minutes away from the airport) is a perfect excursion. The little town provides a typical Bavarian atmosphere with its baroque cathedral and its market square lined up with renaissance and baroque houses.
Over the last decade, the number of Asian destinations linked to Munich have been on the rise. Total passengers from and to Asia (excluding the Middle East) reached 1.61 million last year of which 295,000 were registered to and from Southeast Asia. Munich was linked in April 2016 by scheduled airlines to 9 destinations in Asia- including Bangkok and Singapore. Total frequencies to Asia represent 330 monthly frequencies with a seats’ capacity of 97,500. Looking at passengers’ origin, Munich welcomed 52,000 passengers from ASEAN countries in 2015, half of those passengers coming from Thailand and Singapore.
Will Lufthansa and its partners of Star Alliance likely to offer more flights to Asia in the near future? “We will receive from next year the Airbus A350 at Lufthansa and the first aircraft will be deployed on our Munich long-haul network,” described Thomas Winkermann, CEO Luthansa Munich Hub. “However with the strong competition of Gulf carriers, I am not sure if we can seize more opportunities to add new destinations in Asia”, he added.