UAE travel: Emirates, Etihad cancel flights as Germany airport staff walk out

The Frankfurt Airport 'strongly advised' passengers not to travel throughout the day as significant disruptions to operations were expected

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AP
AP

Published: Fri 17 Feb 2023, 2:28 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Feb 2023, 9:08 PM

The UAE's top airlines on Friday cancelled their flights to and from German airports as workers carry out a strike over pay.

Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates has advised its customers that its trips to and from Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich today (February 17) have been cancelled due to the industrial action.

"Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused. Affected customers should contact their booking agents or the local Emirates office for rebooking options," the airline said in a statement.

The UAE's national airline Etihad Airways also said the strike has affected its flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich.

"We regret any inconvenience caused by these cancellations, which are due to circumstances beyond our control," it said. "Guests booked on these services are being assisted with their travel arrangements."

Etihad said it is adding extra flights while offering passengers travel options to other European destinations.

The strikes at seven German airports, including Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg, affected almost 300,000 passengers and forced airlines to cancel more than 2,300 flights.

In a tweet, the Frankfurt Airport "strongly advised" passengers not to travel throughout the day as significant disruptions to operations were expected.

The airport workers walked out to press their demands for inflation-busting pay increases.

Christine Behle of the Verdi labour union told public broadcaster RBB-Inforadio that failure to reach a meaningful deal with employers on pay could result in a “summer of chaos” at German airports.

The union is seeking a 10.5 per cent increase for its members, or at least 500 euros, to make up for high inflation seen in Germany and elsewhere last year due to the knock-on effects Russia's attack on Ukraine has had on global food and energy prices.

Verdi chairman Frank Werneke told weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the willingness among its members to stage strikes was big and future walkouts could reach “another dimension”.

He noted that recent strikes at airports, public transport and childcare facilities could be extended to garbage removal services and hospitals.

(With inputs from AP)

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