Planned industrial action means that Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) airports will be closed to commercial travel on Friday. This will further compound flight delays and cancellations after yesterday’s IT meltdown at Lufthansa.
Major German Airports Will Shut Down To Commercial Traffic On Friday, February 17, 2023 Due To Labor Strike
Yesterday, Lufthansa unexpectedly cancelled or diverted more than 200 flights due to an IT outage that severely disrupted flight operations. Demonstrating the vulnerability of the system, the outage was inadvertently caused by engineers while working on a railway line extension. During that construction, a drill cut through a a Deutsche Telekom fiber optic cable bundle 16 feet below ground, which crippled vital technology at Frankfurt Airport.
Lufthansa says operations are back to normal today, but Friday will be an even worse day due to planned industrial action by the Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (Ver.di) trade union, which represents over 20,000 Lufthansa ground staff employees,. The so-called “warning strike” will run 25 hours, ending at 1:00 am on Saturday, February 18.
As a result of the strike, Frankfurt and Munich (as well as Stuttgart) airports will shut down, except for military or emergency flights (and private jets of attendees of the Munich Security Conference). No commercial traffic will go in and out. Lufthansa Group carriers and partners like United Airlines are already moving to cancel flights, including outbound flights to Germany today and return flights on Friday.
A United Airlines internal memo seen by Live and Let’s Fly explains:
Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) airports will not be operating commercial flights due to a planned all-day strike on February 17 (local time).
United flights scheduled to arrive in or depart from FRA or MUC between February 17, 12:00 a.m. and February 18, 01:00 a.m. local time will be canceled.
Very important: if your travel plans are impacted by this strike, reach out to your airline now in order to rebooked. Alternate flights are filling up fast. Ideally, research options while on hold and then propose them while speaking to an agent.
A planned labor strike in Germany on Friday will lead to the planned closure of Frankfurt and Munich airports. Airlines are already proactively canceling flights, so even if the strike is averted at the last minute, chances are your flight will still be cancelled.