Industry association expectation: airport chaos should end this fall

Status: 08/07/2022 14:15

Chaos continues at airports. The airline does not see a return to normal operations at the earliest in the fall. Foreign workers arrive too late for the summer tourist traffic.

On this summer vacation, air travelers need strong nerves and luck to ensure that their flight is not canceled or canceled in a short time. Airlines announce new flight cancellations almost every day. To “stabilize the system”, as Lufthansa called it yesterday. The Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry is now cautiously optimistic. “Air traffic is likely to be re-regulated from autumn,” said a spokeswoman for the association Unless there is a new corona wave.

The industry association blames the large number of coronavirus layoffs on the current chaos at airports. As a result, and because many workers were voluntarily looking for work in other areas during the pandemic, there is a staff shortage at the moment.

There is no short-term remedy in sight

According to the Federal Aviation Industry Association, foreign workers can help in the short term. The day before yesterday, the Federal Employment Agency agreed to temporarily bring to the country 2,000 helpers from Turkey for service at German airports.

However, it only speeds up the administrative process of issuing visas, a spokeswoman for a federal agency said. The airport operators or the companies they commission are responsible for recruiting. In addition, countries must carry out so-called plausibility checks on individual employees. It took an average of four to eight weeks. Therefore, there can be no question of a short-term solution to the problem of staff shortages when checking in or loading and unloading suitcases.

Only half of the assistants are needed

Especially since the suppliers of groundhandling services have also spoken and do not consider the 2,000 Turkish unskilled workers decided by the federal government to be necessary. According to the employers’ association of aviation groundhandling service providers, only about half of the announced Turkish temporary workers are to be hired.

Its president, Thomas Richter, said companies asked for less than 1,000 midfielders. On the one hand, because some companies envisioned higher requirement profiles. Support is also late for some providers. The employers’ union expects the first implementations in August, but the operator of the Frankfurt airport Fraport has assumed September so far. It will probably be too late for important parts of the vacation business. However, according to the association’s information, September is the month with the greatest number of travels at many airports – this applies, inter alia, to airports in Frankfurt and Berlin. Here, additional staff could alleviate the situation.

The association calls for long-term solutions

In any case, the current work permit for temporary airport staff from Turkey is only valid until the beginning of November. On the other hand, the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry, BDL for short, assumes that in the long term, foreign workers will also be needed for air operations. According to the spokeswoman, the domestic labor market is empty. BDL CEO Matthias von Randow said at a press conference that long-term solutions are needed – in recruitment, but also in technology and official audits. “We need a law on immigration facilitation in Germany.” Von Randow also called for faster processing of the official background checks that all new employees must pass.

In the long run, digitization will also contribute to reducing the complexity of airport processes for passengers. “In the future, we want to significantly simplify airport passenger processes through biometrics and digitization.” However, there is no short term measure for travelers in sight.

Flying is getting more and more expensive

In the short term, however, the first airlines are already raising their ticket prices. At Eurowings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, flying will be ten percent more expensive in the future. Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof told the Rheinische Post: “We have a three-digit million cost increase in Eurowings alone.” Contrary to the price correction, “the burden of the oil price shock cannot be taken over,” continued Bischof. The time of ultra cheap tickets is “clearly over”. Flying is getting more and more expensive, and it has to become more expensive as well.

Fly at last: Turks help at German airports

Uwe Lueb, ARD Istanbul, July 8, 2022 at 4:32 pm

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