German airports see hundreds of flights cancelled after strike action by security staff

©Cologne/Bonn Airport

As a consequence of security workers at six German airports staging a one-day walk-out over pay, numerous airlines have been forced to cancel multiple flights to and from the affected locations. While Duesseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Berlin were closed on Monday, an additional one-day strike is planned for other airports including Frankfurt and Hamburg on Tuesday. The action comes on the back of the effects of the COVID pandemic on the aviation industry, a dramatic rise in fuel prices and the closing of airspace as a result of the war in Ukraine.

According to ADV, the German airports association, hundreds of flights have been cancelled. 160 were cancelled at Duesseldorf and 91 at Cologne/Bonn. Frankfurt airport operator Fraport confirmed that only transit passengers could get to their flights on Tuesday, with the airport originally due to handle approximately 770 departures and arrivals, serving approaching 80,000 passengers. Lufthansa, Germany’s flag-carrying airline has confirmed that 48 of its flights would be cancelled on Tuesday.

Currently Verdi, the labour union, is looking for a minimum one-euro-per-hour pay increase for all airport security staff over the next 12 months and that staff in other airports across Germany receive the same. However, BDLS, the association of aviation safety companies, said all of Verdi’s demands combined amounted to increases of up to 40% and were “utopian”. Continued wage talks between Verdi and BDLS are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week.

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