Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn, Stuttgart, Berlin. Koln, strike, union, pay, cancel, delay, airports, Verdi
Photo: Düsseldorf Airport

German airport chaos as 640 flights axed

Airports in Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn, Stuttgart and Berlin are seeing many hundreds of flight cancellations.

Almost 640 flights have been cancelled in Germany today as security staff go on strike at three airports – Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart.

The disruption is hitting around 110,000 passengers, according to the news agency DPA, with more than half of the three airports’ 1,050 total departures forced into cancellation.

At Düsseldorf, the country’s third-largest airport, 370 of Thursday’s 580 departures have been cancelled.

At Cologne-Bonn, 131 of almost 200 flights will not take place, while in Stuttgart 142 of its 270 take-offs and landings are cancelled. The chaos is spilling over into Berlin Tegel and Schönefeld, where about 90 flights are cancelled.

The walkout is lasting from 03:00 to midnight tonight.

Noisy protests
Representing 23,000 airport security employees across Germany, the union Verdi is demanding a pay rise to €20 per hour from the current €17, around 18%. But the employers’ association BDLS is offering increases of between 2% and 8%.

Hundreds of strikers have been demonstrating noisily at the airports with whistles and posters.

Verdi staged warning strikes in Berlin at the start of the week lasting several hours, leading to the cancelation of around 8% of flights. Today the figure will be significantly higher.

“This is an unbelievable imposition for holidaymakers and business travellers – they are being taken hostage again,” Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Association, tells the Rheinische Post.

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