Not everything is going according to plan yet, but it will: According to the Lufthansa board member Foerster, the “bottom line” in terms of flight chaos has been passed. However, problems such as staff shortages still exist. The company therefore wants to hire thousands of new employees.
In the summer flight chaos, Lufthansa sees the worst effects as overcome. "The bottom has been passed, flight operations are largely stabilized," said Group CEO Christina Foerster to the newspapers of the Funke Group. Among other things, 500 employees from the administration at the airports would help out to deal with the problems. In view of the high level of sick leave, the situation remains a challenge.
When flights are cancelled, it is mostly on domestic German connections where there are alternative connections or several flights a day. 99 percent of all holiday flights take place, said Foerster. "Despite the many painful flight schedule cancellations, we fly 95 percent of our entire summer flight schedule." However, there will only be a significant relief for the winter flight schedule at the end of October.
Regarding pictures with halls full of stranded suitcases, the Lufthansa board member said that the global tracking system was not designed for the current exceptional situation in international aviation. It is currently not always possible to find the owner of the respective suitcase. "The earlier a loss is reported to us, the easier it is to find a piece of luggage," said Foerster, who is responsible for customer relations on the board of Europe's largest airline group.
Foerster announced plans to triple the number of staff in Lufthansa's call centers this year. Because of the irregularities, flight cancellations and the strike, there were "sometimes extreme peaks in demand" with hours of waiting on the hotlines. The airline recently canceled thousands of flights due to staff shortages.
At the end of July, a strike by Lufthansa ground staff led to chaotic conditions in air traffic. Last Thursday, however, Lufthansa and the Verdi union agreed on higher wages for ground workers, thereby averting further strikes in summer travel. The company had also announced that it would hire 5,000 new employees in the second half of the year to fill the current staff shortage. Another 5,000 new hires are planned for next year. In the corona pandemic, Lufthansa cut more than 30,000 jobs worldwide.