Update: More than 60 flights cancelled at Frankfurt airport due to air traffic control IT glitch

A total of 66 flights have been cancelled at Frankfurt airport so far on Monday due to technical difficulties with air traffic control software.

Update: More than 60 flights cancelled at Frankfurt airport due to air traffic control IT glitch
Lufthansa flights sitting on the tarmac. Image: DPA

More than 4,500 passengers are affected due to the disruption at Frankfurt, Germany's largest airport.   

By noon, 66 flights had been cancelled, reported AFP, according to the air navigation service agency Deutsche Flugsicherung  DFS, which cited an IT glitch in its control centre in Langen.

German airline giant Lufthansa had initially said it was cancelling 22 flights. 

Passengers have been advised to look for information on their flight before travelling to the airport.

The software malfunction was detected by DFS at its centre in Langen in the central state of Hesse. The glitch has been affecting air traffic over large parts of the country since Wednesday last week.

It has reportedly caused problems in the German airports of Frankfurt am Main, Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf. Airline safety, however, is not impacted, DFS confirmed.

The affected software provides air traffic controllers with 'control strips' of data about the progress of a flight.

The DFS said this system was not functioning properly so they had decided to reduce the volume of traffic in their airspace so that they could monitor all flights more closely. Technicians plan to install alternative software later this week.

The Langen centre monitors an airspace stretching from Lake Constance in the south to Kassel in the north. In the west, the Langen airspace stretches to the French border and in the east to Thuringia.

All other air traffic control systems are fully available and other control centres run by the DFS in Munich, Bremen and Karlruhe, are not affected by the disruption.

Around 2,000 air traffic controllers manage up to 10,000 flights a day in German airspace, which adds up to more than three million a year.

SEE ALSO: Lufthansa cancels 800 flights Tuesday in airport strikes across Germany

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Lufthansa fires up ‘jumbo jet’ for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca

German airline Lufthansa said Friday it was taking "extraordinary measures" to meet surging bookings for the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, deploying a jumbo jet to ferry passengers from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa fires up 'jumbo jet' for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca
Tourists enjoy the first days of summer on the island of Mallorca. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Francisco Ubilla

The group said it had seen a jump in reservations from German sunseekers in recent weeks, as concerns about the pandemic ease thanks to falling infection numbers and vaccination progress across Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa said it would swap the 215-seat Airbus A321 that usually plies the Frankfurt-Mallorca route for its Boeing 747-8 “jumbo jet”.The 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies”, can carry 364 people and is the largest plane in Lufthansa’s fleet.

The super-large planes normally fly transatlantic routes but have been
mostly grounded since the pandemic upended air travel.

READ ALSO: ‘I really needed a break’: Pandemic-weary Germans find freedom on Mallorca

“Lufthansa is taking extraordinary measures in order to respond to a significant increase in booking demand for flights to Palma de Mallorca,” the airline said in a statement.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends over July and August, it added, Europe’s key summer travel season.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans and is sometimes affectionately referred to as Germany’s “17th state”.

Before the pandemic, around five million German tourists visited the island
each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists