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Germany may face airport chaos in summer, warns minister

The Local
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Germany may face airport chaos in summer, warns minister
People at Berlin's BER airport on June 3rd. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Transport Minister Volker Wissing says Germany has to take action now to limit travel chaos at airports this summer.

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Staff shortages at airports have been causing major problems in Europe recently as the number of travellers increases again following the end of most Covid restrictions. 

In the last few days, thousands of Britons trying to travel to and from the UK have been affected by flight cancellations. 

And in Germany, there is growing concern about a similar situation happening during peak travel season.

As The Local reported this week, the issue is down to increased demand for travel again.

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But airlines and airports cut back during the pandemic, and got rid of a lot of staff. Now there are huge staff shortages. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), there are major problems at security and baggage check areas.

Transport Minister Wissing told Bild am Sonntag: "Two issues are coming together here - on the one hand, people feel a great need to catch up on travelling after all the deprivations and restrictions during the corona pandemic.

"On the other hand, there is the travel and transport industry, which was virtually paralysed during corona and lost staff."

The FDP minister called for a "job initiative to recruit skilled workers", and to modernise infrastructure.

READ ALSO: How airports in Europe have been hit by transport chaos

Thousands of vacancies at German airports

The staff shortage in Germany is severe, said Ralph Beisel, CEO of the German Airports Association (ADV).

"Across all locations, the service providers involved in handling passengers are short of around 20 percent ground staff compared to pre-corona times," Beisel told DPA.

"This can lead to bottlenecks at peak times, especially in check-in, baggage loading and aviation security control."

German airport works councils estimate that around 5,500 new staff are needed to fill the demand.

But Beisel stressed that because of the security requirements for staffing at airports, employees cannot be hired overnight.

We’d love to know if you’ve experienced airport problems in Germany either when trying to leave or coming back. Drop us an email: [email protected] and tell us what it’s been like.

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peachrt 2022/06/07 09:14
Surprise surprise - they all got bailed out by their Governments, then rather than start recruiting early enough to be ready for this, they kept those wages & now it of course there are staff shortages , but they will never admit it was their fault

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