Dresden Airport: Passengers can sit down in a café again before departure

For almost two years, the gastronomic space in the Dresden airport terminal stood empty. Now there is a café again. The airport store "Gate 14" is also expanding its range.

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Eine große Anzeigetafel mit Abflügen und Anflügen. Darunter sind Check-In Schalter im Dresdner Flughafen.
Passenger numbers have risen again at Dresden Airport in 2022. Now the gastronomic offer is also being rebuilt.

From Sandro Rahrisch

Dresden. To ensure the catering at the Dresden airport things looked bad recently. The snack bars and cafés have been empty since spring 2021. Instead, snack machines filled the gaps. Although they didn't offer any culinary highlights behind the security checkpoint in the departure area, they did satisfy the hunger and thirst of waiting passengers. In the meantime, life has returned to the small round café behind the security checkpoint.

BEretail"is the name of the company that has been serving fresh coffee, selling sandwiches and offering hot snacks again since the end of 2022. The Berliners are no strangers to the airport terminal; they had already opened a duty-free store and a souvenir store right next door in 2019. Also the café "Johanna" at the Neumarkt, which was closed in the fall of 2022 in the wake of increased energy prices and the Corona crisis, belonged to the company.

Further café openings conceivable if passenger numbers are good

"We offer a small local supply and are satisfied with the interest," says Managing Director Martin Enk-Pieper. He adds that there is an option for the remaining vacant restaurant space, including in the arrivals area, to be occupied as well. "However, we are not drawing that option yet."

This is because passenger numbers in Dresden have not yet fully recovered. In 2022, Klotzscher Airport counted a good 835,000 passengers. Compared to 2021, this represents growth of 155 percent. Compared with the pre-Corona year 2019, however, there were only about half as many passengers. Whether Dresden will be able to return to its pre-Corona days is questionable. After all, some destinations have not yet returned to the flight schedule. These include Stuttgart and Cologne/Bonn.

He does not want to create an oversupply of gastronomic offerings; instead, he wants to adapt the offering to the development of passenger numbers, says Enk-Pieper, who is optimistic that things will continue to look up this year.

Goulash soup and wiener at "Gate 14

The gastronomy had been operated by the then steamship subsidiary "Elbezeit" until spring 2021 - until the insolvency of the Saxon Steamship. Before the security check, the "Gate 14" store, which is operated by the airport itself, has to fill the snack gap. Because the bakery, which was located on the first floor, is now also out.

Efforts are being made to lease the space to a bakery again, says airport spokesman Uwe Schuhart. Until then, however, the range of services offered at Gate 14 is to be expanded. From now on, there will also be a small snack bar with hot meals - goulash soup, Vienna sausages and meatballs, for example.

The "Airport Lounge" with a view of the runway had already been opened last summer. The air-conditioned lounge offers, among other things, cold and hot food and drinks. However, the service offer is only available to selected passengers of the Lufthansa Group and the airline KLM open free of charge. All other passengers can book a stay in the lounge. The tickets, which are available through the airport's online store, are priced at 25 euros; children pay 19 euros.

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