A warning strike at Easyjet on Friday spoiled the start of vacation and business trips for passengers from Berlin and Brandenburg. Among other things, flights to Nice, Mallorca, Amsterdam, Malaga, Copenhagen and London were canceled at the capital’s airport BER. According to Easyjet, the airline canceled around 20 of the 130 flights on Friday.
For the company’s customers, the summer should not only be uncomfortable because of the wage conflict: Due to a lack of staff, Easyjet has canceled part of its flight program. Twelve daily flights to and from BER are affected until the end of August. That leaves around 100 flights a day. The “Märkische Allgemeine” reported about it first.
For Friday, the Verdi union had called on around 450 cabin workers to stop working at the Berlin location between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. A few Easyjet flights were able to take off in the morning because replacement staff were deployed.
Easyjet had advised customers to check the status of their flights online before heading to the airport. Most didn’t even come.
Verdi wants to emphasize its demands in the current round of collective bargaining. The union is demanding at least five percent higher pay and a one-off payment for a term until the end of this year.
[If you want all the latest news live on your phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]
“We expect a negotiable offer from the company,” said negotiator Holger Rößler. Nothing has happened since the last round of negotiations in mid-May. “The exorbitantly increased prices and the large additional burden on board due to the chaotic restart phase of the entire industry show that our demands are more than justified.”
Easyjet criticized the warning strikes. “We are extremely disappointed with this action at this critical time for the industry,” said a company spokeswoman. “We hoped to the last that the union would not carry out the action and would instead seek talks with Easyjet.”
Because the passengers are coming back faster than expected, the aviation industry is in trouble. During the corona pandemic, the companies had cut staff that they are now missing, be it at passenger control, in aircraft handling or in the cabin. Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings also canceled hundreds of flights in July alone.
On Friday, easyjet cited a difficult operational environment and an above-average level of sick leave among the crew as the reason for the cancellations. “We deeply regret the short notice of some of these flight cancellations and the associated inconvenience to customers booked on these flights,” a spokeswoman said. Those affected could rebook or receive a refund.