German aviation and airport chaos demands 2,000 foreign workers –

Germany’s federal government could allow in – temporarily – 2,000 foreign workers to be hired at the country’s airports to ease the staff shortage that has led to flight chaos in recent weeks. This is the order of some German airports grouped into the German Airport Association (Adv) for use by management companies and private ground handling service providers.


In particular, since the end of May, many German airports have experienced inconveniences – with long queues – at check-in, at security gates and on boarding, while also having problems with baggage claim with hundreds of carriages that did not arrive in time. Two thousand fixed-term employees should not be employed immediately because they will also need training and security clearances. Most of the workers must come from Turkey and be paid – as the German Dpa explains – with wages at the German level. The state will take steps to expedite temporary permits for entry, residence and work.

local legislation

The facilitation comes after weeks of requests from insiders. Among them is Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Lufthansa Group, who has appealed to the federal government to allow the hiring of foreign employees. Spohr explained in June during the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), held in Doha, Qatar, that German labor law is among the most complex in Europe. For a company in Germany to be able to hire a foreigner, it must prove, among other things, that no German can be found to fill this role.


The request also comes after more than two years of staff cuts due to the coronavirus that has halted air transport amid government restrictions and halted travel. Comparing financial documents, for example, a company like Swissport – the handling giant – went from 64,000 employees in 2019 to 45,000 in the first quarter of this year. Fraport – which among other things is the management company in Frankfurt – has shrunk from 9,200 to 6,800 workers.

problems in europe

The problems are not only in Germany. The focus of harassment for the past two months has been at London Heathrow and Gatwick airports and at Amsterdam Airport in the Netherlands. Long queues also in Denmark and Sweden. A return to summer 2019 volumes – before the coronavirus – has surprised air transport, which has found itself dealing with staff shortages at every level of the supply chain and hiring delays. In June, at least 11,000 flights were canceled for this reason in Europe alone.

Leave a Comment