Germany's largest airline cancels hundreds of summer flights

The Local Germany
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Germany's largest airline cancels hundreds of summer flights
A Lufthansa flight takes off from the former Schönefeld airport in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Patrick Pleul

As airlines continue to struggle with post-Covid staff shortages after cutting back, Germany's Lufthansa has announced that numerous flights will be scrapped this July.


The flight operator plans to dispense with a total of 900 services around Germany and Europe, with passengers flying from Munich and Frankfurt set to be the worst hit by the cancellations.

In total, five percent of flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will no longer be running, leaving customers with more limited options for weekend flying.

Two of Lufthansa's subsidiaries - Eurowings and Swiss - will also be reducing their services this summer.

Eurowings is set to cancel several hundred flights in July, while Swiss will run fewer flights between Germany and Zurich. 

According to Lufthansa, the scheduling changes are a result of the staffing challenges posed by the pandemic.

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


At the height of Covid when travel was severely restricted, many people who worked for airlines and airports were sacked or forced to look for other jobs due to reduced work.

Despite bailouts from the government, Lufthansa embarked on a major job-cutting programme, axing more than 30,000 full-time jobs during the pandemic. 

Since the number of staff has not been built up again, flight operators are struggling to cope with increased summer demand. 

"Across all locations, the service providers involved in passenger handling are about 20 percent short of ground staff compared to the pre-Corona period," Ralph Beisel, CEO of the German Airports Association ADV, said recently.

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

READ ALSO: Lufthansa pays back German bailout early - but job cuts still stand

'Cancellations possible'

Despite the reduced timetable, Lufthansa said it was still possible that there would be delays and cancellations over summer due to staffing issues and bottlenecks.

However, the airline said it was doing everything possible to ensure that passengers could travel as planned.

If a flight is cancelled, customers are generally informed via text or email and rebooked on the next available flight- Lufthansa has also indicated that domestic travellers can also choose to travel by train to their destination.

Following the travel chaos reported at several European airports over the Whitsun weekend, the airline has advised customers to arrive at the airport as early as possible when travelling over summer and to use online check-in the night before.

It also suggested that passengers try and reduce their hand luggage to the bare minimum to avoid long waits at security.

However, with school holidays and the peak travel season fast approaching, experts have warned that crowded airports, long queues and flight cancellations could become a mainstay of the first restriction-free summer since Covid. 

READ ALSO: Germany may face airport chaos in summer, warns minister


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