Hundreds of flights canceled across German airports as security staff strike

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Hundreds of flights have been canceled across major German airports as security staff went on strike amid an ongoing wage dispute between trade unions and employers. 

On March 15, 2022, airports in Frankfurt (FRA) and Hamburg (HAM) faced operational disruptions and were forced to cancel hundreds of scheduled flights as security staff, led by the trade union Verdi, staged a walk out. As a result of the strike, Germany’s flag carrier, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) canceled almost 50 services out of its FRA base alone. Initially, the airport was due to serve up to 770 arriving and departing flights on the day of the security staff walkout. 

The staff strikes in Germany began on March 14, 2022, and initially took place at four airports: Dusseldorf (DUS), Cologne (GCN), Berlin (BER), and Munich (MUC), leading to flight disruptions and delays across the country.  

The walkout led to a three-digit number of flight cancelations, Reuters reported on March 14, 2022. More than 160 flights were canceled at DUS airport alone, while strikes resulted in 94 flight cancelations in Cologne and dozens more in Berlin and Munich. 

In an unusual move to mitigate the effects of the strike, German airline Condor said passengers on three long-haul flights from FRA could check in at DUS, go through security there and then take a free flight from DUS to FRA. DUS is approximately 220 kilometers from FRA.

The dissatisfied security staff, backed by local trade unions, are demanding a wage increase. However, BDLS, the German association of aviation safety companies, argues that the combined demands from unions would result in an unrealistic wage increase of around 40%. 

An agreement has yet to be reached.  

Further negotiations between trade unions and employers are due to take place between March 16 and March 17, 2022. 


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