ARCHIV - 24.06.2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Köln: Passagiere stehen in einer Schlange von mehreren hundert Metern für die Sicherheitskontrolle am Flughafen Köln-Bonn an. Die Tourismusbeauftragte der Bundesregierung wirft der Luftverkehrsbranche angesichts chaotischer Zustände an deutschen Flughäfen Fehler bei der Personalplanung vor. (zu dpa «Flug-Chaos: Tourismusbeauftragte wirft Unternehmen Fehlplanungen vor») Foto: Thomas Banneyer/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Frankfurt airport boss and top German airport lobbyist apologizes to passengers for delays, queues and flight cancellations. Stefan Schulte also admitted that the situation would not change any time soon. “At the moment we are assuming that we can offer a better product towards the end of the summer, but it won’t go really well this year,” Schulte told RTL Direkt.

It will probably only get significantly better in 2023. In addition to the lack of staff, storms and problems with airspace surveillance, there is an increasing number of sick leave due to the high workload and increasing corona numbers.

As a result, many planes take off late. “I would like to apologize to all passengers for this,” said the CEO of Fraport AG and President of the Working Group of German Airports (ADV).

This does not correspond to their own quality standards. “It annoys us the most. It’s not okay.” After the pandemic crisis, air traffic is now back to around 80 percent and at peak times already back to 100 percent – “and that’s the problem”.

Schulte thanked the federal government for its support in finding workers from abroad. “We have been looking for staff abroad for a long time, we also hire staff, but the market is extremely tight.”

The federal government wants to speed up bureaucratic procedures so that temporary assistants, especially from Turkey, can jump in at the airports at short notice and help out with baggage handling and check-in, for example.

Federal Minister of Transport Volker Wissing, Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil and Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser announced that there should be quick residence and work permits, but no compromises on security. In addition, the assistants would have to be paid according to the collective wage agreement.