Lufthansa to cancel more flights, 20.000 suitcases pile up at Frankfurt Airport
After already cancelling more than 3.000 flights in July and August to stabilise its flight schedule, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa is reportedly planning even more cuts in the coming days. Meanwhile, with thousands of suitcases piling up at Frankfurt Airport, reports that the number of so-called “ghost flights” is actually increasing are adding to the picture of extreme chaos.
Lufthansa bets on flight cancellations and ghost flights to relieve chaos
In a bid to rescue its flight schedule for the summer, Lufthansa is expected to cancel a further 105 scheduled flights in the coming days, according to a report from ntv. The cancellations will mainly affect short-haul flights within Germany and to its close neighbouring countries, scheduled to take place between Friday and next Thursday.
The plan also involves increasing the number of so-called “ghost flights” running over the next week, with more than 364 scheduled for the coming days. These are flights that transport no passengers, but sometimes cargo and baggage. Lufthansa wants to use ghost flights to “stabilise the crews” and transport so-called “rush baggage” - bags that could not be loaded onto the correct plane in time and are left behind at the airport to follow at a later date.
According to ntv, a dramatic situation is developing when it comes to luggage. At Frankfurt Airport alone, more than 20.000 pieces of luggage have stacked up and need sorting. They were supposed to be sent on to their owners abroad, but in many cases the delay has been so great that those affected have already returned from their holidays.
Lufthansa admits mistakes with staffing strategy
In an interview that was circulated internally, the head of Lufthansa’s supervisory board, Karl-Ludwig Kley, acknowledged that the international company had made some mistakes with its personnel strategy and expressed regret that the situation was causing stress amongst workers and travellers due to the high number of delays and cancellations.
However, Kley said he was confident that the measures introduced by the company will gradually be successful. Next week the company will decide whether to extend them further.