BERLIN – Germany’s Berlin airport said it has cancelled all passenger flights for Wednesday because of a strike organised by the Verdi union, grounding the capital’s only commercial airport days before a week-long winter vacation in the city.
The dispute means that about 300 take-offs and landings won’t be possible, affecting about 35,000 passengers, according to a statement by the BER airport operator. Among the airport’s biggest airlines are discount specialist EasyJet and Deutsche Lufthansa.
Labour union Verdi called the warning strike, citing dissatisfaction with proposals made in three rounds of collective bargaining negotiations by the airport’s management.
It is demanding an increase of €500 (S$717) a month for ground services employees over a 12-month period as well as higher bonuses for air security personnel who work weekends and public holidays.
Berlin-Brandenburg opened in 2020 after eight years of construction delays. More than 19 million passengers passed through the airport in 2022, according to the operator’s website. Frankfurt, by comparison, handled almost 49 million passengers last year.
Air traffic has come back from the pandemic, with leisure travel picking up most notably. The surge caused chaos at airports across Europe last year after operators and ground personnel struggled to meet demand. BLOOMBERG