Stansted: Airport prepares for German fans influx

Bayern supporters celebrate advancing to the final after the Champions League semifinal second leg s

Bayern supporters celebrate advancing to the final after the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona - Credit: AP

THOUSANDS of Wembley-bound Germans are set to give Stansted airport a lift as they head to the Champion’s League cup final in a fortnight’s time.

The Essex airport has been working for the past year with the Football Association, Wembley and UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) and the relevant clubs in preparation for the big event which will feature two giants of the German footballing league, the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, on Saturday, May 25.

Stansted was designated as one of two entry airports for the finalists along with Gatwick.

“Dortmund is now ‘our’ team,” said Stansted spokesperson Mark Davison.

“It’s believed that many Dortmund fans will drive or be coached to London so not as many fans are expected to arrive by air compared to what was expected if Real Madrid had made it to the final, but it is still a major event for the airport, requiring detailed and coordinated planning by all parties involved.

“We are also working closely with a host of other partners including the Metropolitan Police and Essex Police, the UK Border Force, handling agents, airlines, train and coach operators as well as the retail and cleaning teams to organise and manage the arrival of the additional fans on top of what will already be a busy Bank Holiday getaway weekend.”

The airport, which has taken on extra staff to cope, expects to accommodate the arrival of thousands of Dortmund fans on official charter aircraft in the run up to the final on Friday and Saturday morning, as well as the subsequent return departures over the next couple of days.

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More fans may also arrive from the other 13 German airports Stansted serves.

“We did the same with Barcelona fans for the previous final at Wembley a couple of years ago,” said Mr Davison.

Budget airline Ryanair, which operates out of Stansted, has put on additional flights to cope with the expected influx of fans not on chartered flights. The airport may also see the arrival of VIPs and corporate sponsors and guests on flights using private jet facilities on the northside of the airport. Ryanair said it would be putting on 19 extra flights, as German fans booked flights in record numbers.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “Bayern and Dortmund fans are booking up seats by the minute and we will carry over 6,000 supporters on our Champions League flights to and from London for the all-German final. ”