Germany: Lufthansa, Other Airlines Cancel 2,340 Flights, Affecting Nearly 300,000 Passengers

The situation highlights the catastrophic labor shortage among ground handling workers, and concerns have been raised about the industry's ability to cope with capacity issues and keep delays down as air traffic recovers from the pandemic.
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Germany’s air travel has come to a halt due to strikes by public sector workers, ground crew, and flight control at seven airports. According to the German Airports Association (ADV), the strikes would affect nearly 300,000 passengers and result in the cancellation of 2,340 flights.

The ADV advocated for solutions to be found at the negotiating table rather than on passengers’ backs. Lufthansa, Germany’s national airline, had to cancel over 1,300 flights on its own.

The strike has been a significant setback for Germany’s aviation industry, affecting not only passengers but also airlines and airports.

Labor Shortage

On Wednesday, Christine Behle, deputy chairwoman of the Verdi trade union, announced the strikes, citing a catastrophic labour shortage among ground handling workers. She emphasised that travellers were affected by the shortage last summer, and that in order to change the situation, an appealing wage increase must be provided.

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The pandemic caused job cuts, resulting in staff shortages, which led to various strike actions throughout Europe’s aviation industry last summer. These actions resulted in thousands of cancellations and long queues at many airports, with lengths of over a kilometer.

Eurocontrol’s Warning

The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) warns that the situation may worsen as air traffic recovers from the pandemic.

According to Eamonn Brennan, Director General of Eurocontrol, 2023 will be the most significant challenge in terms of dealing with capacity issues and reducing delays in over a decade.

Lufthansa IT Outage

To add to the woes of German air travelers, Lufthansa experienced an information technology outage on Wednesday. The outage was caused by damaged fiber optic cables during road construction work, leading to numerous flight cancellations.

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Bottomline

The collective bargaining strikes in Germany have affected thousands of passengers, highlighting the catastrophic labor shortage among ground handling workers. The strikes emphasize the need for the aviation industry to find solutions to labor shortages to avoid future travel chaos.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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