Lack of staff – air chaos instead of summer dream trip? | Free press

The desire to travel among people in Germany after more than two years of Corona is huge. But airlines and airports are not staffed. In addition, there are now strikes and more coronation layoffs.

Frankfurt / Berlin.

Staff shortages at airlines and airports are increasingly disrupting travel plans.

As more and more crews are re-reporting sickness due to Corona cases, Lufthansa is canceling more than 2,000 more flights at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich in the middle of holidays. Along with the already announced cuts, a total of over 3,000 connections will be lost in July and August.

The low-cost subsidiary Eurowings also expects further cuts. Condor and Tuifly make it all clear. Strikes at other European airlines are creating additional turbulence.

According to the trade association DRV, tour operators will do their best to ensure that booked summer tours take place. “Well-booked routes to package tours around the Mediterranean or more remote destinations are unlikely to be canceled on a larger scale,” a spokeswoman for the German Tourism Association DRV said on Friday. This applies in particular to flights that were booked by the organizers well in advance. Tour operators and travel agents are in close contact with airlines and airports.

Strikes – Weather – Korona

Lufthansa justifies its recent cuts by the fact that strikes by air traffic controllers in Marseille, such as weather events and in particular the increased incidence of corona disease, have recently put additional strain on the system. “Our crews have reported sick in a short time in the last few days.”

A good two weeks ago, the company canceled 900 flights in Germany and Europe for July in Frankfurt and Munich. “But we assume that we will make more than 95 percent of planned flights during the summer,” said a Lufthansa spokesman.

Eurowings has already canceled hundreds of flights for July – and expects little improvement. Similar adjustments are expected in August, “if the situation of airport staff in security checks, ground handling, air traffic control, etc. does not improve,” the spokesman said. “We are also anxious to see a renewed increase in coronavirus cases, which is reflected in higher sickness rates among all system partners in the process chain.”

This is especially true for flights within Germany and Europe

Lufthansa and Eurowings want to largely exclude classic holiday routes from the cuts. First of all, flights within Germany and Europe, for which there are alternative options for train travel, should be eliminated. For example, Eurowings only flies nine times a day from Düsseldorf to Majorca, not ten times – and ideally all intended passengers should reach their destination on the scheduled date.

However, at the beginning of the holiday season in North Rhine-Westphalia at the airports, things can get complicated. “It will depend on every single cog in the process chain,” said a Eurowings spokesman. Especially at security checks and in the ground handling services, which, for example, load and unload luggage, there is a shortage of employees after the pandemic.

Airports and many airlines have cut staff during the pandemic, which is now missing in the summer travel season. Some air travelers have reported exceptionally long waiting times during security checks.

Hope for Turkish staff

The aviation industry is therefore counting on a quick layoff from the German authorities for the deployment of around 2,000 Turkish workers at German airports. “We hope things move forward very quickly,” said a spokeswoman for the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry (BDL).

The necessary reliability checks could then be completed in approximately six weeks, and the ground handling staff could still be deployed during the summer travel season. A spokeswoman for the airport association Flughafenverband ADV added: “2,000 workers would significantly ease the burden on the industry and increase reliability.”

The Federal Consumers’ Association (vzbv) called on Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) to prevent chaos at German airports during the holiday season. “Federal Transport Minister Wissing has to tackle the problems if it does not want to go down in history as Minister of Traffic Chaos,” vzbv mobility expert Marion Jungbluth told Handelsblatt.

The holiday airline Condor, on the other hand, sees no reason to change anything in its summer plans. “We have not canceled any flights and are not planning to do so,” a spokeswoman said. The company did not reduce any jobs during the pandemic and has so far controlled the situation well. In addition, Condor also uses aircraft and staff from other airlines on rush days to take all customers to and from their holiday destinations as planned.

The German holiday airline Tuifly also sees no reason to cut back on its summer flight program. “We’re not removing anything,” said a Tui spokesman. The company has not recorded any increased cases of the disease due to the coronavirus. Tuifly may even launch additional flights one day or another to compensate for other airlines’ failures, a spokesman said. The goal is for people not to have to cancel their vacation.

Strikes at Ryanair and Brussels Airlines

Strikes at Ryanair and Brussels Airlines are now causing additional turbulence in European air traffic. At Brussels Airlines, the cabin crew and pilots will stop working by Saturday. Lufthansa branch employees criticize, inter alia, heavy workload. From Friday to Sunday, there is also a labor dispute between the employees of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair in Belgium.

According to media reports, all planned Ryanair flights should take place in Spain. Ryanair made all employees work on the basis of a government order.

British Airways (BA) employees at Heathrow Airport also supported a summer vacation strike. Adversity can also threaten Germany. The Verdi union demands 9.5 percent more money for the approximately 20,000 Lufthansa employees in the field. Collective agreements expire on June 30. (dpa)

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