Lufthansa flights largely at ‘standstill’ due to German airport strikes

Lufthansa's flight operations were brought largely to a standstill due a strike across German airports
Lufthansa aircraft at the gates at Munich Airport MUC

Strikes organized by the German union group Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di, United Services Union) have led to Lufthansa flights for the day largely being brought to a “standstill”, the German airline has announced.  

According to Lufthansa’s website, “the ver.di trade union has called for a one-day strike at several German airports” on March 27, 2023, which “will largely bring flight operations at Lufthansa to a standstill”. The strike has been affecting Lufthansa’s operations at Munich Airport (MUC) since March 26, 2023, the carrier noted.  

Ver.di said its representatives working in passenger control, personnel and goods control, and in service areas will strike at several German airports. The affected airports are Bremen Airport (BRE), Dortmund Airport (DTM), Dresden Airport (DRS), Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Hamburg Airport (HAM), Hannover Airport (HAJ), Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN), Leipzig/Halle (LEJ), MUC, and Stuttgart Airport (STR). 

In a statement released on March 24, 2023, announcing the strikes, the union said that “ver.di has been in negotiations with the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS) for years to increase the time surcharges for night, Saturday, Sunday and public holiday work as well as a better collective bargaining agreement for overtime pay for security and service staff at commercial airports.” 

However, despite the strikes, the two sides could not find a solution and there is “no written negotiable offer”, the union said.

“There is a lack of sufficient specialist staff at the airports, so that there could be longer waiting times for holidaymakers this summer as well. Employers have it in their hands to keep the skilled workers employed and to attract new ones with more attractive conditions,” union representative Wolfgang Pieper added.

According to a statement issued by BLDS, the strikes will result in no planes landing or taking off from Germany, with trains and buses also grinding to a halt.

“The trade unions are saying goodbye to the proven tradition that solutions are reached at the negotiating table in Germany,” stated Ralph Beisel, the General Manager of the BDLS. Beisel added that the strike is “an attempt to introduce French conditions in Germany by means of a general strike”.

“The image of Germany as a location for air transport is being damaged among international travelers,” Beisel concluded.

The action marks the second strike across several of Germany’s airports during March 2023. The first strike occurred on March 13, 2023, when all departing flights from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) were canceled. The strikes, also organized by ver.di, affected BRE, HAM, and HAJ airports in addition to flights at BER.

It was a follow-up to a strike in February 2023, when the union also called for aviation security personnel surcharge increases, halting traffic at seven German airports. 

READ MORE: No departures at Berlin Brandenburg Airport due to strikes, arrivals affected 

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