Lufthansa has announced that it would cancel over 1,000 flights between now and the end of July because it can no longer reasonably expect to complete its summer schedule on time.
The airline is the latest to cut an ambitious flying program that was driven by a surge in travel demand but was constrained by labor shortages.
Short-haul Lufthansa flights, as well as European flights operated by its cheap subsidiary Eurowings, will be canceled. Some impacted passengers, according to the airline, would be better off taking the train rather than trying to get rebooked on alternate flights.
“The entire aviation industry, especially in Europe, is currently suffering from bottlenecks and staff shortages,” the airline group said in a statement. “This applies to airports, ground transport services, air traffic control and also airlines.”
According to a representative for Lufthansa, the airline has already made steps to stabilize its schedule, but anticipated bottlenecks forced a reduction in the flying schedule during the peak summer vacation season.
Over the next two months, Lufthansa will cancel about 9,000 internal German and intra-European flights, while Eurowings will cancel “several hundred.” The majority of the cancellations occur on weekends and account for about 5% of Lufthansa’s planned schedule.
After pandemic limitations were lifted, demand in Europe’s aviation industry increased, but much of it was driven by leisure travelers. Airports and airlines have struggled to cope with the flood of passengers who prefer to fly on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, causing chaos in some European airports.
In recent weeks, Amsterdam Schiphol airport has requested that airlines impose artificial passenger limits in order for understaffed security checkpoints to cope. Heathrow Airport in London made a similar request as it scrambled to hire hundreds of additional employees.
Frankfurt Airport openly revealed earlier this week that it had requested airlines postpone flights in order to “maintain stable operations” for the next three months.