More than 650 flights cancelled at Berlin’s airports due to strike
Union says it is open to new talks over the weekend to avert further industrial action
Berlin Airport said 455 flights had been cancelled at Tegel and 204 at Schönefeld
Nearly all flights were cancelled at Berlin’s two airports on Friday due to strike action by ground staff, who want an increase in pay from €11 an hour to €12 an hour.
Berlin Airport, which operates Berlin Tegel Airport and Berlin Schönefeld Airport, said 455 flights had been cancelled at Tegel and 204 at Schönefeld as of 6.15am. The strike is due to run for 25 hours from 4am local time on Friday. Carriers including Air Berlin, Lufthansa, EasyJet and Ryanair serve the two airports.
The industrial action comes as many trade visitors try to make their way home from the world’s biggest tourism trade fair, ITB Berlin, which ends in the city on March 12th.
“We are ready for talks at any time, of course also over the weekend, and open for a new offer,” said Enrico Ruemker, strike leader at trade union Verdi.
The airport operator advised passengers to check their flight status with airlines before setting off for the airport.
In a statement, Ryanair said it regretted being forced to cancel “a number” of flights to and from Berlin on Friday. The airline said all affected customers were contacted by email and text and advised of their options: a full refund, a free transfer on to the next available flight or a free transfer on to an alternative route.
“Ryanair sincerely apologised to all customers affected by this unwarranted union strike, which is entirely beyond our control,” the airline said.