Lufthansa cancels 2.000 more flights, expects disruption until 2023
Lufthansa has announced that it will cancel a further 2.200 flights during the holiday season, due to staff shortages on aircraft and at airports. Germany’s flag carrier airline has said it does not expect the air travel crisis to end this year.
Lufthansa cancels thousands more flights this summer
Just two weeks after it announced that it was cancelling 900 flights within Germany and Europe in July, the airline group has said that even more cancellations are on the cards over the summer holidays. A further 2.200 flights - out of a total of around 80.000 flights this summer - are being scrapped from the airline’s hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.
The cancellations primarily affect domestic German and European flights, although management are trying to exclude classical holiday destinations from any disruption. Both midweek and weekend flights are affected. “In addition, there may also be changes in flight times,” a company spokesperson said.
Lufthansa passengers will be informed immediately should their journeys be affected and, if possible, rebooked onto other suitable flights. Some domestic German flights might be replaced with long-distance train services.
Chaotic scenes expected at airports across Europe until 2023
Lufthansa is not alone in cancelling flights this summer season to try to combat the crisis that is gripping the air travel industry. Its subsidiary companies Eurowings and SWISS have also been forced to cancel flights over the summer.
Airports across Europe are battling with a severe shortage of workers across all sectors, including ground handling, security staff and flight attendants. Many workers lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis, but now that flying is possible again there are too few available workers to fill the vacancies. In recent weeks, worker strikes, the weather and an increase in the number of staff on sick leave have piled additional pressure on the airlines.
While airlines like Lufthansa are trying to minimise disruption by cancelling flights well in advance, passengers are still facing chaotic scenes at airports, with hours-long queues at check-in desks, security and passport control in places like Manchester, Barcelona and Amsterdam.
Lufthansa bosses are saying that it could be a while until things get back to normal and the chaos subsides. “Unfortunately, we will hardly be able to realistically achieve a short-term improvement now in the summer,” Lufthansa board member Detlef Kayser told Welt this weekend. “We expect the situation to return to normal by 2023.”