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"Think Big" – extraordinary challenges need extraordinary measures. As seen in late June at Münster/Osnabrück Airport in Germany. 7,500 additional passengers needed to be accommodated in one weekend. Summer holiday rush? Important state visit with a large entourage? None of the above. The reason for the high number of flights was a Pro Sky project.
The explanation for the unusual traffic: A corporate event in Münster. Pro Sky, specialists for customised air travel, had received a request to organise the arrival and departure of 7,500 invited guests. A number that presented a challenge for both Pro Sky and Münster/Osnabrück Airport.
In a place that usually handles 10,000 arriving and departing passengers, they now had 25,000
Here, the numbers are clearly telling the story: 150 additional flights with about 15,000 passengers were handled at Münster/Osnabrück Airport. On a regular weekend, about 10,000 passengers pass through the regional airport, but the event raised that number to about 25,000 - an increase by 150%. "Of course, such an increase in traffic is a logistical challenge, which we were happy to face," says Andrés Heinemann, Director of Marketing and Communication at Münster/Osnabrück Airport, about the take-offs and landings at minute intervals.
Lufthansa switches aircraft and 17 additional airlines take part
But how is it possible to handle such a huge task? Pro Sky relied on an intelligent combination of two different travel options: Scheduled and charter flights. The first needs analysis conducted by the air travel experts showed that some guests could be booked on scheduled flights. In order to handle the increased passenger traffic, the magic word was "equipment change". In close cooperation with different airlines, several regular flights were upgraded. Lufthansa, for instance, flew from Frankfurt to Münster/Osnabrück with Airbus A320 aircraft. Usually, the 90 seats in a Bombardier Canadair 900 Jet are sufficient.
In Munich, Lufthansa also changed plans and replaced the regular Embraer 190 Jets with Airbus A321 aircraft. This doubled the capacity from 100 to 200 seats. However, this was not enough to fly all guests to the event. Moreover, many event participants did not live near Munich or Frankfurt. To connect Münster/Osnabrück Airport with additional destinations, Pro Sky used charter flights. More than 100 airlines were in the running for the job; 17 airlines were signed on. Special highlight: Usually, the airline fleets are very busy in June, as it is the beginning of the peak season. Therefore, Pro Sky proceeded to book all aircraft capacities of their 17 contracting airlines.
Münster/Osnabrück scores with flexibility compared to its "bigger brothers"
"Intelligent flight programmes can turn even small airports into big event hubs," Armin Truger, CEO of PRO SKY AG, summarized the labour-intensive, but successful weekend. Compared to their "bigger brothers", smaller airports offer significant advantages regarding such unusual projects. Unlike intercontinental hub airports, they are able to offer the flexibility to accommodate flights outside of the usual standards. From the apron to the event location? Münster/Osnabrück makes it possible. In cooperation with airport management, Pro Sky was able to pick up their guests at the aircraft in their own buses. "In Münster/Osnabrück, the close cooperation with the airport was essential for the success of the project," Armin Truger praises the extraordinary commitment and exceptional performance of the partner airport.