Thousands of Germans are currently planning their vacation trips: other flights? The car? The train? This is mainly due to the lack of personnel in air traffic and the resulting flight cancellations. Now there is a solution attempt.

Several thousand foreign workers could fill in for reliable holiday flights at German airports this summer.

“The federal government is planning to allow urgently needed personnel to enter Germany for temporary work,” announced Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) in the “Bild am Sonntag”.

According to information from government circles, a four-digit number of specialists should help out in Germany for a few months at best from July. According to industry information, around 2,000 employees are under discussion, including from Turkey.

Faeser: “There are no compromises when it comes to safety”

Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) spoke in the newspaper of an action coordinated with Heil and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). Faeser added: “We will make it possible for helpers from abroad to be used, for example, for baggage handling.” The following applies: “There are no compromises when it comes to safety.”

The airports responded with satisfaction and are now urging the authorities to check the reliability of the staff more quickly. According to the working group of German commercial airports, the aim is rapid implementation.

Personnel gap of 5500 employees

During the Corona crisis, many service providers at the airports had laid off employees or they had looked for new jobs themselves. Every fifth operational employee is missing, the working group explained. She assumes a staff gap of 5,500 employees, who are missing from check-in to passenger control and aircraft handling.

“Therefore, the industry would like to resort to personnel from third countries in the short term,” said a spokeswoman. “For example, 2,000 employees, some of whom come from Turkey, are in talks to help out during the summer holidays.”

Heil emphasized: “We want to rule out any form of social dumping and exploitation. Employers must pay collective wages and provide decent accommodation for a limited period of time.” There isn’t much time left for that. The school holidays have already begun in North Rhine-Westphalia – with long queues at Düsseldorf Airport, for example.

Left: “The federal government is not responsible for personnel policy”

Wissing assigned the responsibility for chaotic conditions at airports to the companies. “The federal government is not responsible for the personnel policy of the airport companies and airlines,” he said. The Federal Ministry of Transport is responsible for air traffic control and the coordination of flight operations. “And everything runs smoothly there.”

Shortly before the start of the main holiday season, numerous airlines had canceled flights. Lufthansa canceled a total of almost 3,000 flights at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs, also because more and more crews are calling in sick because of Corona cases. The low-cost subsidiary Eurowings also canceled hundreds of flights in July. At Berlin Airport alone, market leader Easyjet cut its program for the summer months by around 1,000 flights.

Lufthansa does not expect flight operations to return to normal until next year. “Unfortunately, we will hardly be able to realistically achieve a short-term improvement now in the summer,” said Lufthansa board member Detlef Kayser of the “Welt” (Saturday). Currently only helping to reduce the number of flights. This is not only a German problem, but applies to the whole world. “We expect the situation to normalize overall again in 2023.”

Lufthansa and Eurowings want to largely exclude the classic holiday routes from the cuts. Above all, flights within Germany and Europe, for which there are alternative travel options by train, are to be eliminated.