Government plans special rules: Foreign helpers should alleviate flight chaos

Thousands of flights are canceled this summer because airlines and airports are short of staff.

Government plans special rules: Foreign helpers should alleviate flight chaos

Thousands of flights are canceled this summer because airlines and airports are short of staff. Even with the processing of the remaining travelers, the industry is overwhelmed. The federal government wants to enable the short-term deployment of thousands of aid workers, including those from Turkey.

The federal government wants to alleviate the tense staffing situation at German airports with the option of temporarily employing foreign workers. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told the "Bild am Sonntag" ("BamS"). "We want to rule out any form of social dumping and exploitation. Employers must pay wages and provide decent accommodation for a limited period of time."

Transport Minister Volker Wissing spoke in the newspaper of an action coordinated with Heil and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, with which the staff shortages at German airports were to be "remedied and a temporary solution presented". Faeser added: "We will make it possible for helpers from abroad to be used, for example, for baggage handling." The following applies: "There are no compromises when it comes to safety." Citing government circles, the newspaper wrote that the aim was to get a four-digit number of skilled workers from Turkey, who could at best be deployed for a few months from July.

Shortly before the start of the main holiday season, Lufthansa, for example, announced that it would be canceling a total of almost 3,000 flights at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs because more crews were reporting sick due to corona cases. The reason is in particular a lack of staff not only at the airline itself, but also at the airports, for example at security checks. Wissing assigned responsibility for the chaotic conditions at the airports to the companies. "The federal government is not responsible for the personnel policy of the airport companies and airlines," he said. The Federal Ministry of Transport is responsible for air traffic control and the coordination of flight operations. "And everything runs smoothly there."

Federal Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke demanded that airlines treat their customers fairly and provide active information about claims, for example compensation. "I expect the airlines to comply with their legal obligations and to meet the legitimate claims of passengers quickly and unbureaucratically," she told BamS.

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