TWA's Internal German Service
TWA and Internal German Service (IGS) from Berlin Tegel (TXL/EDDT) (1989-1990)
In 1988 a tender was annouced, to award a 2nd American Air carrier for IGS Routes to HAM, FRA, STR and MUC. CO, AA, UA and TW requested the routes. It had been decided that TWA will get the routes, as they already have 2 daily flights TXL-BRU-TXL with a B727-31 feeding their Trans-Atlantic-Service from BRU. The route was also attracting business travellers, as there was a morning flight and an afternoon flight.
In 1989 TWA started service to FRA, HAM and STR. 3 B727-31 were based at TXL. TWA occupied gates 1, 2 and 3 at TXL airport. Frequencies to FRA increased to 4. the morning flight to STR continued to ZRH and the morning flight to HAM continued to AMS.
TXL-HAM-TXL (also TXL-HAM-AMS-HAM-TXL)
TXL-STR-TXL (also TXL-STR-ZRH-STR-TXL)
There was a plan in early 1990 to replace all B727-31 with DC-9. The DC-9 was cheaper to operate with only 2 deck crews. The replacement was started and 1 DC-9 was already on the way to Gander, the aircraft was called back, as the lease contract for the DC-9 fleet did not allow to be based outside the USA. Therefore the Boeing 727-31 remained in service.
November 11th 1989, history changed. The wall, separated West-Berlin from the rest of the free world, were opened. As this also changed the position of allied air carriers in Berlin, TWA never opened the route to MUC. The frequencies were reduced in mid 1990 and suspended end of 1990 after re-unification of Germany. In 1991 Pan Am sold the IGS routes to LH. At this time TWA only kept the route to BRU with a B727-31. HAM and STR disappeared from the route-map.
A new era for TWA started. In 1992 the B727-31 was changed to B767-231. 4 weekly 767-231 service from JFK via BRU to TXL. TWA has often changed routings to Berlin. Most of the time it was via BRU, but for short period, there was also a L1011 service via AMS or CPH.
As TXL airport was to small, handling wide bodies larger than A300/B767, The L1011 used Gate 1. Bridge of Gate 1 connected to 1L door and bridge from gate 2 connected to 1R door.
In 1995 TWA had closed BRU but TXL kept open. A few month the route was via CDG. Later TXL disappeared from the route-map.
(the above is from my memory, timetables and from a good friend who was operations staff at TXL for TWA)
IGS Carriers (scheduled and charter)
USA - Pan Am (scheduled and charter), Pan Am Express (scheduled), TWA (scheduled), Air Berlin USA (charter), Tempelhof Airways (scheduled from THF)
UK - British Airways (former BEA) (scheduled), Dan Air (scheduled and charter), Berlin European UK (charter), Laker (scheduled and charter)
France - Air France (scheduled), EuroBerlin France (scheduled and charter).
Pan Am sold the routes to Lufthansa, Air Berlin USA changed the registration and was registered as a German Airline, British Airways established Deutsche BA to maintain routes within Germany. EuroBerlin (51% AF and 49% LH) discontinued all services during the 1990s. Dan Air declared bancruptcy and merged with BA.
West Berlin Air Corridor
During the Cold War era (1945–1991), the West Berlin air corridors, also known as the Berlin corridors and control zone, were three regulated airways for civil and military air traffic of the Western Allies between West Berlin and West Germany passing over East Germany's territory. The corridors and control zone were physically centered on and under control of the all-Allied Berlin Air Safety Center (BASC) in West Berlin. The airspace within these corridors was used by US, UK and French-registered non-combat aircraft belonging to these countries' armed forces and airlines operated by pilots holding those countries' passports. In addition, it was also used by LOT Polish Airlines for regular scheduled services from Warsaw to London and Paris via Schönefeld Airport to the south of East Berlin.
The air corridors connected the three West Berlin airports of Tempelhof, Tegel and Gatow with other airfields/airports. Each air corridor was only 20 mi (32 km) wide, while the circular-shaped control zone had a 20 mi (32 km) radius, making it 40 mi (64 km) in diameter; thus allowing aircraft room to maneuver for weather and takeoff and landing. Aircraft were compelled to fly at a maximum height of 10,000 ft (3,000 m).[nb 1] However, on occasion, the height restriction would be raised to 13,000 ft (4,000 m) in order to accommodate Soviet military exercises. Flight plans, for entry into an air corridor, were handled by the Berlin Air Safety Center (BASC), who in turn would coordinate with the Berlin Air Route Traffic Control Center (BARTACC).
- Northern air corridor: Hamburg, Bremen, Northern Europe
- Centre air corridor: Hanover, Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Western Europe
- Southern air corridor: Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Nuremberg, Southern Europe
Contemporary air traffic control procedures prohibited overtaking in the air corridors to ensure a safe operating environment inside these narrow air lanes and to prevent aircraft from accidentally straying into East German airspace. This compelled jet aircraft crews to reduce their speed if the preceding aircraft was a slower-flying piston or turboprop plane. This in turn extended the jet's flying time inside the air corridor and resulted in higher operating costs due to increased fuel consumption at 10,000 ft (3,000 m), especially on short-haul internal German services covering a maximum distance of 300 mi (480 km).
For commercial and operational reasons, the airlines had their flights routed through the centre corridor whenever possible as this was the shortest of the three air corridors, thereby minimising the time aircraft spent cruising at 10,000 ft (3,000 m). At such a low altitude, modern jet aircraft could not attain an efficient cruising speed. This extended flight times and increased fuel consumption. Therefore, use of the centre air corridor was the least uneconomical option.