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German airline Lufthansa axes 3,000 flights over staff shortages

German national carrier Lufthansa said Thursday it was cancelling more than 3,000 flights during the summer holidays due to staff shortages as the industry attempts to recover from the pandemic.

Munich airport
A sign announces a cancelled flight at Munich Airport. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Andreas Gebert

The announcement came just days after the airline said it had axed 900 of its July flights due to personnel issues.

“In an effort to inform passengers as soon as possible, Lufthansa will take another 2,200 out of around 80,000 flights at the hubs of Frankfurt and Munich out of the system” this summer, the company said in a statement.

While the initial cancellations had affected flights on Fridays and weekends, the new measures will hit weekday travel.

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It said the flights scrapped would include domestic as well as European routes but “not the well-booked classic holiday destinations”.

In addition, the carrier said passengers should expect scheduling changes.

It attributed the slimmed-down schedule to “flight security strikes, weather events and in particular the high number of coronavirus infections”
creating staffing woes.

The airline said it had attempted to recruit additional personnel to cushion the blow but to limited effect.

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr said last month the airline was projecting a record summer for tourist activity, with the latest data showing passenger numbers bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of passengers on Lufthansa flights had “more than quadrupled” in the first quarter to 13 million, from three million in 2021, Spohr said, when travel restrictions in many markets were more severe.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Germany considers ‘Klimaticket’ to replace €9 public transport offer

Germany could well be heading for more affordable public transport after the success of the €9 ticket.

Germany considers 'Klimaticket' to replace €9 public transport offer

More than 20 million people bought the €9 monthly travel ticket in June aimed at helping people during the energy crisis. 

And now the German government is thinking about introducing a ‘climate ticket’ as a replacement to the cheap transport offer that runs until the end of August. 

According to a draft of the emergency climate protection programme (Klimaschutzsofortprogramm), the government – made up of a coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), could offer a “Klimaticket” for use on local public transport. 

The draft plans, which were made available to business daily the Handelsblatt, state that “tariff measures are to be used to permanently increase the attractiveness of local public transport”.

According to the government proposals, “a discounted ‘climate ticket’ as a standardised state local transport monthly or annual ticket for regional rail passenger transport and local public transport” would ensure low-cost rail travel in the future.

Germany’s states are responsible for local public transport. However, the federal government is prepared to “financially support” a “climate ticket”. Details are still being examined, however. For instance, the draft does not indicate how much a ‘climate ticket’ could cost consumers.

A similar ticket exists in Austria.

READ ALSO: Less traffic, more ticket sales: How the €9 offer has impacted Germany

Social rights groups and politicians have been calling on the government to extend the €9 offer, or consider another cheap transport deal, such as the €365 yearly ticket.

Since June 1st, people in Germany have been able to use the €9 ticket to travel on all public transport buses, trains and trams throughout the country. The ticket is not valid on long-distance trains. 

But Transport Minister Volker Wissing and Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that the offer would not be extended due to the tough economic situation. 

According to German media, the Federal Environment Agency is in favour of a successor model after the €9 ticket expires, which could be financed by abolishing climate-damaging subsidies in the transport sector.

Germany is trying to think of ways to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 in order to achieve climate goals. 

All ministries have to submit proposals to Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The federal cabinet is expected to approve the climate protection programme in mid-July.

How does the ticket work in Austria?

The Klimaticket in Austria is billed as being a “valuable contribution to the climate of our planet”, according to its website.

It allows people to “use all scheduled services (public and private rail, city and public transport) in a specific area for a year: regional, cross-regional and nationwide”.

The national ticket – the Klimaticket Ö – includes all public transport throughout the whole of Austria, but at €1,095 for a year, it isn’t cheap. However, it is valid on both regional and long-distance transport. 

There are also region-specific Klimatickets which are much more affordable. The Salzburg ticket, for example, costs around €270 per year

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