Germany is allegedly considering bringing in up to 2,000 temporary employees from Turkey to help alleviate major personnel shortages in the country’s airports during the busy summer season.
A coalition of aviation advocacy groups petitioned the Labour Ministry with the request on Friday, according to Germany’s DPA news agency.
If allowed, the aviation industry would be able to hire temporary check-in employees and ground handling agents from Turkey to help fill a critical manpower gap that threatens to throw the industry into disarray.
Passengers at Frankfurt and Munich airports have been detained in long lineups for both check-in and security checkpoints in recent days. Similar scenarios have been seen in other German airports, and the trend is expected to continue throughout the summer.
After demand for air travel rebounded far faster than either airlines or governments had anticipated, Europe’s whole aviation industry is under severe strain. After slashing employee numbers during the pandemic, the sector is now failing to rehire quickly enough to keep up with demand.
Passengers in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as the United Kingdom, have had similar problems.
British airlines have requested that the country’s Transport Secretary temporarily relax post-Brexit immigration laws so that companies can take advantage of Europe’s plentiful supply of qualified personnel. The government has already dismissed the proposal, blaming the industry’s lack of planning for the current difficulties.
Jet2’s chief executive, Stephen Heapy, was compelled to reject media claims that he blamed recruitment problems on “lazy Brits who live off benefits and sit on their arses.”
The airline acknowledged that Brexit was making it more difficult to fill unfilled positions, but insisted that the comment attributed to Heapy was “categorically not” his perspective on the industry’s challenges.