YEAR AFTER YEAR, GERMANY’S Munich Airport takes the lead among Europe’s top airports, not only for its efficiency, shopping, dining and convenient location but also for its unique experiences and services.
Those traveling through Munich Airport can enjoy the privacy of Napcabs or a meal in an actual ski gondola at the alpine-themed Sportalm restaurant. They can grab a beer at the airport’s own brewery and beer garden or take on the world’s largest manmade surf wave. The Observation Deck allows guests to observe as planes take off and land, and the Visitors Park offers airport tours and interactive exhibits.
The major international airport is the second-busiest in Germany. It has seen steady growth since 2010, with significant growth reported within the past couple of years. The airport served 42 million passengers last year and is on track this year to see a record-breaking 44 million passengers.
In November the airport announced a major extension and refurbishment for Terminal 1, due to open by 2022, which will provide capacity for 6 million additional passengers. Last year also saw the opening of a satellite terminal in Terminal 2, allowing for an additional 11 million passengers, 52 gates and 27 parking positions, 11 of which can accommodate wide-body aircraft including the Airbus A380. The satellite terminal is also home to new restaurants, shops and five new Lufthansa lounges. As the airport celebrates its 25-year anniversary in 2017 and its many successes, it also looks ahead to big changes and improvements.
The airport aims to further simplify and enhance the customer experience with a new plan dubbed Strategy 2020, which will include new products, services and processes. For example, travelers arriving in Munich who are not familiar with the airport will soon be able to use an online service to compare transportation options between the airport and hotel and vice versa. Real-time wait times at airport checkpoints will also be integrated with the new service.
In terms of air traffic, the airport currently has two parallel runways, and while a third runway would increase the number of aircraft movements per hour from 90 to 120, the airport is receiving pushback and awaits approval from its three shareholders, Bavaria, Federal Republic of Germany and the City of Munich, to move forward.
In addition to serving 248 destinations around the world, Munich Airport serves as a major hub for Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners as well as a long-haul base for Frankfurt-based Condor Airlines, the third-largest airline in Germany. Condor recently announced the largest U.S. expansion in the airline’s 60-year history, expanding its route network this summer with new, non-stop service to Munich from existing gateways in Seattle (SEA) and Las Vegas (LAS).
In March Skytrax renewed the airport’s 5-Star Quality Rating, making it the only airport in Europe to hold this top-tier status. The rating is based on the ease of travel for customers including clear signage, plentiful seating and comfort, food and beverage options and seamless security and immigration processing.
Munich Airport has seen unparalleled growth since its opening 25 years ago, and with visions for continued success, the airport lays the groundwork for a successful future.
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