Strike action forces Berlin airport to cancel almost 200 flights


March 13 (UPI) — Berlin airport was forced to cancel up to 200 flights affecting about 27,000 passengers Monday after security staff walked out in a dispute over pay.

Departures were most badly affected with 131 cancellations compared with 52 arrivals, data from Flight Aware showed. Some routes were also worse hit than others with all departures to Newark Liberty, London Gatwick, Singapore Changi and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airports canceled, among others.


“Due to the warning strike by employees at the aviation security controls, no commercial departures will take place at Berlin Brandenburg Airport today. Incoming flights may also be affected,” read a statement from Berlin Airport posted on the city’s official website.

“The extent to which arriving flights are also affected depends on the airlines,” according to the spokesperson.

Passengers, who were warned of longer waiting times and flight cancellations, were advised to check the status of their flight with their airline.

The strike involving about 300 members of the United Services Union, or Ver.di, began at 3:30 a.m and is expected to go on until midnight with a rally planned for outside the terminal on Willy-Brandt-Platz.

Security staff at Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen airports were also set to take part in the industrial action.


The union said its members had been forced to take strike action because they had been unable to reach an agreement with employers over the rates of pay aviation security workers should receive for working unsocial hours.

Negotiations with the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies have been ongoing for years, according to the union.

Hamburg Airport, which reported its terminals as being very quiet, said all departures and half of arrivals had been canceled and security check lines would remain closed all day. It also warned there would be no check-in Monday evening for Tuesday flights.

It said airlines had given passengers plenty of notice of cancellations and delays enabling them to avoid traveling to the airport unnecessarily.

However, it cautioned passengers to double-check with their airline before setting out for the airport.

Berlin airport was hit by strikes in January that saw a day-long suspension of flight operations that forced the cancellation of 300 take-offs and landings affecting some 35,000 passengers.

Ver.di strike action last month forced Lufthansa Group to cancel around 1,300 flights in and out of Frankfurt and Munich. The industrial action also affected airports in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Dortmund, Hanover and Bremen.