Today, April 26th, will see the new satellite building at Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss airport put into operation. BusinessClass was present at the opening last Friday, along with another 1,900 guests from around the world.
Under the slogan “living the connection”, Lufthansa’s symphony orchestra got the festivities underway with a relaxed rendition of Robert Schumann’s Fifth Symphony. The orchestra was divided into several smaller units that played the piece in synch from different locations around the new terminal.
A happy Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa’s CEO, was one of many speakers on the bill. It was an enjoyable event for him – not least because the new building was developed in close collaboration with Lufthansa, but also due to the economic success of the project. The satellite terminal was built within budget and on schedule; with a total cost of about 900 million euros.
The new terminal is only accessible via a fully automated train that brings passengers from Terminal 2. We were pleased to see that the terminal’s 27 gates offered aircraft contact points and bridges. It is estimated that the airport has 52 “bus gates” in total. Although for many Munich Airport is preferable, for example, to Frankfurt, it is often the case that a bus ride to and from the aircraft is required – which takes time and is a bit cumbersome.
The new terminal will handle 11 million passengers – it is, in isolation, as big as Cologne airport. Until today, Terminal 2 had a total capacity of 25 million passengers. The satellite building is built in the same style as the rest of the airport, with key concepts being “airy, modern and straightforward.” Representatives of the airport stated to BusinessClass that, since the opening of Terminal 1 in 1992 and the opening of Terminal 2 in 2003, there has been an emphasis on making Munich a ‘relaxed’ airport. This fits in well with the myriad of personal experiences at the airport. One rarely sees big queues, it is very comfortable and there is a wide selection of shops and offerings. Also, the airport does not feel as big as it actually is.
The covered ‘Marketplace’ outside the airport is another good example of the casual atmosphere. It is open to visitors who are not travelling, and, in fact, half of the airport’s income comes from non-aircraft related business.
The new terminal is a whopping 125,800 square metres and includes 20 security checkpoints and 44 passport controls. A full 22 transfer desks are also accommodated. In his speech, Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr, expressed his delight that the airport is rated as a 5 star airport as more customers consciously choose to use it. The stress factor often associated with other airports of this size is not present in Munich, he said, and he is very proud of the cooperation he has had with airport authorities in connection with the development of the new building.
The satellite building has no other access than via train or directly from a flight. One should, therefore, check in as usual in Terminal 2 before taking the train to the new building.
There are as many as five new Lufthansa lounges housed in the satellite terminal – together covering 4,600 square metres. That is almost double the number previously on offer in Terminal 2, which has 7 of its own. The new lounges are open, well lit (thanks to floor to ceiling windows) and relaxed. They also provide magnificent views toward the eastern part of the airport.
The First Class lounge is approximately 1,000 square metres and can accommodate 80 guests. There is a generously sized dining area where you can choose from an a la carte menu and a very extensive buffet. Furthermore, a bar, cigar lounge and various rest areas are also available. A 100 square metre roof terrace with great views is also one of the lounge’s highlights. We were, unfortunately, not able to visit this lounge this time round.
The Senator lounges each hold 150 guests and are 900 square metres in size. They offer a pleasant Skybar with bartenders, 5 shower rooms and various zones for relaxing or eating. The Business lounges can cater up to 130 guests over a 700 square metre area. A Skybar is also part of the offerings here, along with work areas and a shower room.