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Around 2,340 flights were to be canceled, affecting almost 300,000 passengers, said the German Airports Association.
Collective bargaining strikes of public sector employees, as well as ground staff and flight control at seven German airports, have brought air traffic in the country to a virtual standstill on Friday.
Around 2,340 flights were to be canceled, affecting almost 300,000 passengers, the German Airports Association (ADV) said, urging that "solutions must be found at the negotiating table and not on the backs of passengers."
Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa alone had to cancel more than 1,300 flights. There are no departures from Frankfurt and Munich on Friday at all.
"There is still a catastrophic labor shortage among ground handling workers -- travelers clearly felt that last summer," Christine Behle, deputy chairwoman of the trade union Verdi, said on Wednesday when announcing the strikes. "To change this situation, they must be given an attractive wage increase."
Staff shortages caused by job cuts during the pandemic and various strike actions affected Europe's entire aviation industry last summer and led to an international travel chaos with thousands of cancellations. At many airports, queues reached lengths of a kilometer or more.
As air traffic is recovering from the pandemic, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) warned that this summer could get even worse. "2023 will pose the biggest challenge in terms of coping with capacity issues and keeping delays down that the network has faced in over a decade," Director General Eamonn Brennan said.
It was not a good week for German air travelers. On Wednesday, a company-wide information technology outage at Lufthansa caused by damaged fiber optic cables during road construction work already led to numerous flight cancellations.