Chaos at airports Numerous flights cancelled in Cologne-Bonn and Düsseldorf
Cologne/Bonn · On Friday, the summer holidays begin in North Rhine-Westphalia, but there is already a lot of chaos at the airports. Again on Tuesday, several flights are cancelled - among them in Cologne/Bonn. A large number of these are from Eurowings.
Even before the start of the holidays, there are long queues at the security checks at Cologne-Bonn airport. But that's not all - several flights are also cancelled, almost all of them by Eurowings.
After several planes had to be cancelled on Monday, things didn't look any better on Tuesday.
A detailed overview of all flights from Cologne-Bonn can be found here.
A detailed overview of the departures at Düsseldorf Airport can be found here.
Time and again there are problems at the security checkpoints
But cancelled flights are not the only reason why passengers do not get to their desired destinations. According to Eurowings boss Jens Bischoff, ten passengers could not take a flight to Munich because the security check took too long. There is no improvement in sight; airport boss Thilo Schmid expects 1.75 million travellers during the holidays - 86% of the level before the Corona pandemic, although a lot of staff has been cut. About 1,000 flights will take place per week, but on some days the level is above the pre-crisis level. The situation is "challenging", Schmid said. He asked passengers to "come early and well prepared".
The situation at the airport in the state capital Düsseldorf is even more dramatic. Here, too, six Eurowings flights had to be cancelled on Monday. A spokeswoman for the airline explained some of the cancellations as being due to crews calling in sick at short notice, including from Corona illnesses. "The surprise cancellations exceeded our reserves held for a short time, which is why we were regrettably unable to operate some flights." Eurowings said it regretted the inconvenience and was "endeavouring to offer all affected passengers an alternative solution as quickly as possible and to provide compensation if the conditions are met".Eurowings added that the cancellation of flights was to "prevent an overload of ground processes at peak times" - which could be understood to mean that some passengers would have to stay at home or be rebooked so that the rest of the operation would work out.
Sickness rate among aviation security assistants at around 20 per cent
Tui Fly, which has six aircraft in Düsseldorf, is also nervously observing the situation. "At all airports in Germany, we have bottlenecks at security checks and in ground services such as baggage loading," said a spokesman. Jets for the start of the holidays are almost fully booked, he added.
The most difficult bottleneck is the security checks. Partly, there is a shortage of about 100 to 140 state-certified aviation security assistants per shift in Düsseldorf. The sickness rate is around 20 per cent, estimated Verdi secretary Özay Tarim. The responsible federal police have failed to find a second security company in addition to DSW; the recruitment of support staff is also slow: 20 such workers, who can push tubs of luggage, for example, have been hired, 40 are in training to become aviation security assistants and are allowed to fill in, but 60 other workers have not yet been proven to be reliable. The DSW now wants to "deploy trainer and administrative staff to the greatest extent possible", the Federal Police announced.
According to the authority's forecast, more than 11,000 passengers will have to be handled in Düsseldorf on Saturday from 5am to 8am. "There is an urgent need to equalise the peak times", i.e. the times with peak loads, said a spokesperson for the Federal Police. In fact, the flight schedules have been fixed for months; all airlines try to have many jets take off quickly in the early morning so that many other routes can be flown until the evening and the planes do not stand around unused for long.
Original text: ga/dpa
Translation: Mareike Graepel