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BER boss: "Flying will probably never be as cheap as we knew it"


Delays, staff shortages, high prices: the problems in the aviation industry are causing Germany's travelers to despair. Aletta von Massenbach, head of Berlin Airport, does not believe in quick relief.

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Airport boss Aletta von Massenbach: "Waiting times and failures"

Photo: Jörg Carstensen / dpa

The head of the capital's airport BER, Aletta von Massenbach, warns of problems in the aviation industry that go beyond the acute shortage of staff.

"The system as such is not yet running smoothly everywhere," she told the "Focus".

Not only can there always be "waiting times and failures" - in addition to the lack of skilled workers, energy is also an important issue.

This in turn affects the prices.

"Flying will probably never be as cheap as we knew it," said von Massenbach.

This also has to do with EU decisions and plans for climate neutrality.

"We all feel committed to the goals: CO2 neutrality and sustainability," said the BER boss.

Now, however, it is “about the way there and the pace”.

7200 missing skilled workers

The airlines and airports are currently struggling with the lack of staff and the high level of sick leave due to the corona pandemic.

As a result, connections are sometimes canceled and there are long queues at the airports.

There is currently a shortage of around 7,200 skilled workers in the industry.

Like Hamburg Airport and the Federal Police, BER had already sworn passengers on Thursday to long waiting times in view of the upcoming summer holidays and asked them to prepare their trip well.

Travelers should therefore be at the airport around two and a half hours before departure, use online check-in if possible and carefully check their luggage beforehand.

Warning strikes in Hamburg

In some regions, it is still questionable whether these precautionary measures are sufficient: At Hamburg Airport, for example, numerous employees of a maintenance company went on warning strike on Friday, probably the busiest day since the beginning of the corona pandemic.

The Ver.di trade union has called on the approximately 180 employees of Real Estate Maintenance Hamburg (RMH), a subsidiary of the airport company, to a one-day work stoppage.

The RMH employees are responsible, among other things, for the maintenance of the technology in baggage transport.

At the beginning of the summer holidays in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the airport is expecting around 50,000 passengers on Friday.

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Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD)


With the warning strike, Ver.di wants to increase the pressure on employers in the ongoing wage negotiations.

The fact that the warning strike coincided with the rush of passengers at the beginning of the holiday season was neither planned nor intended, said union secretary Lars Stubbe.

"It's a coincidence."

In France, too, several airports in the country are affected by strikes.

At Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, around ten percent of flights were canceled on Friday, the aviation authority said.

Several unions had called for strikes to win higher salaries in the face of inflation.

A strike has also been called for Marseille airport, but the prefecture has ordered the staff to work.

Heil: "Now we have the salad"

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) once again called on companies to do more to attract and keep employees.

"Companies, I don't mean all of them, simply have to become more attractive for employees and improve their working conditions," Heil told the "Handelsblatt".

The government has clearly told airlines to sit down with unions and negotiate a collective agreement.

During the pandemic, the state also "helped the airlines and airports with a lot of money and also massively expanded and improved short-time work," Heil continued.

Short-time work is there so that companies can keep their specialist staff on board.

Nevertheless, employees were dismissed with severance pay or had reoriented themselves professionally.

"Now we have the trouble."


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-07-01

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