A spectacular start for Munich Airport's new satellite terminal: Suspended from aerial silks 20 meters above the floor of the new facility's central market square, a group of acrobats performed their own daring and graceful airborne choreography. The dazzling display was witnessed by the 1,900 guests from Germany and abroad, encircling the apron tower at the heart of the satellite.
The show was kicked off by the "kings of the castle". Pulling symbolic thrust levers to give the satellite a fitting launch were Dr. Markus Söder, the Bavarian minister of finance and the chairman of the airport's Supervisory Board, Norbert Barthle, the parliamentary secretary of state of the German federal ministry of transport, Dieter Reiter, Munich's mayor, Carsten Spohr, the CEO of Lufthansa, Thomas Winkelmann, who is in charge of Lufthansa's Munich hub operations, Dr. Michael Kerkloh and Thomas Weyer, the CEO and CFO of Munich Airport, and Norbert Koch, the architect responsible for the design and general planning of the project.
"As one of the world's most advanced terminal buildings, the satellite is an infrastructure development for the future. Its annual passenger capacity matches the entire traffic handled by a mid-sized German airport. Once again, Munich is setting new standards. For the state of Bavaria it is an enormous gain in terms of mobility and competitiveness that will make us the envy of other regions in Germany and Europe," said Markus Söder.
Munich Airport's CEO Michael Kerkloh sees the satellite as a key element in the successful ongoing development of the airport. "With the satellite, we will not only maintain our justly renowned standards of service and overall airport experience: We will actually take them to a higher level. That starts with the comfortably appointed waiting areas, and extends to the attractive marketplaces with the charming restaurants and the 27 pier-served aircraft stands which, in most cases, will eliminate the need to move passengers by bus."
The CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, also commented on the quality improvements through the increased capacity: "The expansion of Terminal 2 with the new satellite building will make the Lufthansa Group airlines operating in Munich a better and more attractive option for passengers from all over the world. With twice as many pier-served stands for boarding and deplaning, five new lounges with more than 4,000 square meters of floor space and state-ofthe-art gates, passengers at our five-star hub will enjoy even more comfort and higher standards of quality. Our investment in premium-quality facilities is a visible commitment to the continuation of our success story in Munich."
Norbert Barthle, from the German federal ministry of transport stressed the importance of the Munich hub for the entire country: "Today's opening of the satellite building represents the continuation of Munich Airport's success story. It creates new handling capacity for 11 million passengers per year. This will reinforce Munich's position as one of the world's largest and most passenger friendly hubs. But Munich Airport will need to keep developing in the future as well.
The further expansion in the form of a third runway, for which a building permit is in place, is a transportation infrastructure project of national importance." In the words of Munich's mayor, Dieter Reiter, the opening of the satellite is "yet another milestone in the success story of Germany's second-largest airport." He added: "This will benefit not only the investors and those who run the airport, but above all the passengers. Completing a construction project this complex on time and within budget is not something you can take for granted. For that reason I would like to express special thanks to everyone who was involved."
After the official program, the guests had time to get to know the satellite terminal with its dining and shopping options, featuring premium brands alongside Bavarian local color. At the stages set up at various locations, Munich Airport and Lufthansa offered information on the airport, the airline, the satellite's sustainable energy concept, hub traffic and destinations and the global Star Alliance airline partnership.