The recent delays and cancellations at German airports due to staffing issues are unlikely to end soon, said German Transport Minister Volker Wissing to German tabloid Bild am Sonntag on Sunday. Germany, however, is no exception. “The situation of air traffic in Europe is a huge challenge for everyone,” said Wissing.
According to experts, staff shortages after the corona pandemic lockdowns are the main cause of the many delays and cancellations at German airports.
German union Ver.di announced that staff shortages at security checkpoints, check-in and baggage handling mainly affect major airports such as Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf.
Lufthansa said that is planning to cancel about 900 flights in Munich and Frankfurt during the month of July. Leading trade unionist for Ver.di and deputy chairwoman of the Lufthansa supervisory board Christine Behle said to Augsburger Allgemeine: “This Summer will be chaotic, the confirmed flight cancellations are just the beginning. The situation has evolved over the years and the coronavirus was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“The cause is the European ‘forced competition’ at the airports and the associated personnel costs savings of 30 to 40% through cheap fares and the outsourcing of services to cheaper providers,” Behle added. “The temporary lock-down at the airports also led to short-time work and layoffs, and many employees looked for other jobs. This staff is now massively lacking, certainly when the number of bookings is skyrocketing again. A dramatic situation.”
Behle demands that ground handling and other services should again be provided by the airlines and that staff is employed there.