German carrier Air Berlin has sharply criticised the timing of the disclosure that Berlin Brandenburg airport will not open on time.

The new hub's operational date has been put back from 3 June until at least the end of the summer holiday period.

Air Berlin says its new flight schedule, including six daily "waves" of flights, had been specifically tailored to Brandenburg and "cannot simply be put into operation" at the current Berlin Tegel airport.

"We have to work around the change of plan, which presents us with a huge challenge," says Air Berlin chief Hartmut Mehdorn.

"It presents immense logistical problems for all involved and will also cause additional costs which have yet to be calculated."

Mehdorn says that the carrier's board had only visited the airport on 4 May, and that "all parties concerned were confident" that the airport would open on time.

"We will now discuss the new situation with the [airport's] management and bring our customers up to date as quickly as possible," he adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news