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Aviation News Aviation chiefs in quarantine after virus case at Berlin airport

Aviation chiefs in quarantine after virus case at Berlin airport

04 NOV 2020 | 295 words

Aviation bosses who celebrated the long-delayed opening of Berlin's new international airport together have been forced into quarantine after a local official tested positive for Covid-19.

Dietmar Woidke, the state premier of Brandenburg, confessed on Tuesday morning that he had been diagnosed with the virus after developing cold-like symptoms over the weekend.

Woidke was one of a handful of high-profile politicians and executives who attended the subdued opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) on Saturday, nine years late and in the middle of a global pandemic.

A larger grand opening party had been cancelled over virus concerns.

EasyJet said in a statement that after learning of Woidke's infection, the airline's chief executive "Johan Lundgren, as a result of his participation in Saturday's event at BER airport, is being tested today as a precautionary measure and placed in domestic quarantine."

A spokesman for Lufthansa said the airline's chief executive Carsten Spohr had cancelled a planned trip to Berlin and would be tested today "as a precaution".

"All the of the required distancing and hygiene rules were observed during Saturday's event at BER," the spokesman said.

German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, Berlin mayor Michael Mueller and BER boss Engelbert Luetke Daldrup are also among those affected.

BER's opening on Saturday came after years of embarrassing delays, scandals and spiralling costs that saw the project meant to celebrate German reunification turned into a national laughing stock.

Airport executives and local media have dubbed the airport "cursed".

Transport Minister Scheuer had said at the opening he hoped the event would mark "the end of jokes about BER."

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