Hundreds of flights axed as fresh strike hits German airports

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – Hundreds of flights were cancelled at eight German airports yesterday, including at the nation’s busiest travel hub Frankfurt, as security staff walked off the job in a deepening row over pay.

Germany’s powerful Verdi union said the strike would last from 2am until 8pm at Frankfurt airport, with walkouts in Munich, Hanover, Bremen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden and Erfurt following roughly the same schedule.

At least 220,000 travellers will be hit by cancellations and delays, the ADV airport association said, in a calculation that includes knock-on effects at other airports.

Frankfurt airport operator Fraport, which has axed 610 out of around 1,200 scheduled flights, urged passengers not to come to Europe’s fourth-busiest airport during the strike.

At Munich airport, Germany’s second largest, a spokeswoman said around 100, mainly domestic, flights were cancelled.

The coordinated industrial action marks a major escalation in Verdi’s dispute with employers, following walkouts at Berlin’s airports last Monday and in Stuttgart, Cologne/Bonn and Duesseldorf last Thursday.

Germany’s flagship carrier Lufthansa accused Verdi of ramping up tensions “to an unacceptable extent”. The ADV airport association blasted the wave of strikes as “irresponsible”.

Security staff members wearing vests with the logo of German union verdi stage a strike at the airport in Hanover, northern Germany yesterday. – AFP