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Saturday, September 23, 2023

700 flights are cancelled by US carriers while German airports look to hire foreign workers

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Airlines and airports are finding it difficult to hire new employees on both sides of the Atlantic to keep up with the increase in demand for air travel following the removal of numerous international travel restrictions.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, both airports and airlines cut thousands of jobs, and many of those workers found work in other sectors and made the decision not to return to the aviation industry.

According to Flightaware.com, 669 flights into, out of, or within the US had been canceled as of Monday morning at 6.07 a.m. Eastern Time. This comes after the cancellation of almost 860 flights on Sunday.

Over 100 flights were canceled by Delta Air Lines, over 100 by United Airlines, and 51 by American Airlines Group. In the US, carriers face challenges with staffing levels for air traffic control in addition to a shortage of pilots and cabin personnel.

In response to airports getting overrun with travelers during the busy summer season, Germany’s Interior Ministry has stated that temporary foreign workers will be brought in to assist. They will be provided with a standard salary and housing, but they will also need to go through all the necessary security checks, which will take about two weeks.

In the areas of security, check-in, and aircraft handling at German airports, Reuters reports that one out of every five posts is presently open.

The ABL association of aviation ground handling staff anticipates that 1,000 to 2,000 workers would be let in for three months, most likely starting in August. German airports are anticipated to disclose their exact needs in the near future.

“A time limit of a maximum of six months until the end of the year would have been nice,” said Thomas Richter, ABL’s head in an interview with Reuters. “It doesn’t solve the problem, but it certainly helps.”

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