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Hundreds of flights canceled across German airports as security staff strike

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Hundreds of flights have been grounded at major German airports due to a strike by security personnel in the midst of a salary dispute between unions and companies.

On March 15, 2022, security personnel led by the Verdi trade union launched a walkout at Frankfurt (FRA) and Hamburg (HAM) airports, causing operational difficulties and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of scheduled flights.

As a result of the strike, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), Germany’s flag carrier, canceled around 50 services from its FRA base alone. On the day of the security employee walkout, the airport was supposed to serve up to 770 arriving and departing flights.

Staff strikes in Germany began on March 14, 2022, at four airports: Dusseldorf (DUS), Cologne (GCN), Berlin (BER), and Munich (MUC), causing flight delays and disruptions throughout the country.

According to Reuters on March 14, 2022, the strike resulted in a three-digit number of flight cancellations. More than 160 flights were canceled at DUS alone, with 94 flights canceled in Cologne and dozens more in Berlin and Munich due to strikes.

Condor said passengers on three long-haul flights from FRA may check-in at DUS, go through security there, and then board a complimentary flight from DUS to FRA in an unprecedented step to alleviate the strike’s consequences. The distance between DUS and FRA is roughly 220 kilometers.

The disgruntled security personnel, who are backed by local trade unions, are requesting a pay raise. However, according to BDLS, the German association of aviation safety firms, the combined requests of unions would result in a pay increase of roughly 40%, which is unrealistic.

An agreement has yet to be reached.

The next round of discussions between trade unions and employers is scheduled for March 16 and 17, 2022.

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