The aviation industry is insufficiently prepared for the summer travel wave after the Corona crisis, and there is a lack of staff at the airports. Lufthansa is now canceling 900 flights in July, two thirds of which are in Frankfurt. Travelers must expect rebookings.
Due to staff shortages in the entire aviation industry, Lufthansa wants to cancel around 900 domestic German and intra-European flights in the summer flight schedule. A spokesman could not say exactly which ones will be affected on Thursday. However, he estimated that around two thirds of these, i.e. around 600 flights, will be connections to and from Frankfurt.
Affected passengers should be informed immediately
The flights to be canceled will be determined successively over the next few days. Passengers who are already booked on one of the affected flights would be informed immediately. At the same time, they want to offer them alternative travel options. The passengers should not incur any additional costs as a result.
“Especially with domestic German connections, we always have the opportunity to refer to the train,” said the spokesman. This could become relevant, for example, if the feeder flight for the planned overseas trip from Frankfurt is cancelled. “In the end, very few guests will not travel,” he assured.
Rebooking on other flights
Passengers could also be rebooked on other flights operated by the Lufthansa group, which also includes Swiss Air, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings. However, Eurowings had also announced that it wanted to cancel several hundred flights.
According to Lufthansa, around five percent of flights on the peak travel days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be canceled. Intercontinental connections are not affected. The measure is ultimately about stabilizing the aviation system and counteracting impending chaos.
“The whole system in mind”
“We have the overall system in mind,” said the Lufthansa spokesman. If everything were left as it is, spiraling delays could lead to mass flight cancellations with thousands of stranded passengers. “So we are trying to present a somewhat looser plan for the system partners so that processing can be guaranteed.”
The number of bookings has skyrocketed again. Thousands of travelers throng in front of the counters in the halls at Frankfurt Airport every day. At the same time, there is a lack of staff everywhere.
Airport Association: Service providers lack 20 percent staff
Whether security, baggage handling, ground handling services or airlines – because of the Corona crisis, staff had been cut across the entire industry or employees had looked for new jobs. “Across all locations, the service providers involved in handling passengers are missing around 20 percent of the ground staff compared to the pre-Corona period,” said Ralph Beisel, general manager of the airport association ADV, recently.
Lufthansa also asks passengers to contribute to smooth handling. Passengers should arrive at the airport in good time, use online check-in and check-in the night before if possible and reduce their hand luggage to the bare essentials, the airline says.
Lufthansa did not provide any information on how things could continue after July.
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