Germany is reportedly looking to fly in as many as 2,000 temporary workers from Turkey to relieve critical staff shortages in the country’s airports over the busy Summer period.
According to Germany’s DPA news agency, a group of aviation lobby groups petitioned the Labour Ministry with the proposal on Friday.
If approved, the aviation sector would be able to recruit temporary check-in staff and ground handling agents from Turkey to address an immediate staffing shortfall that is threatening to plunge the industry into chaos.
Over the last few days, passengers at Frankfurt and Munich airports have found themselves stuck in long lines for both check-in and security checkpoints. Similar scenes have been witnessed at other German airports and are expected to continue throughout the summer.
Europe’s entire aviation industry is under intense pressure after the demand for air travel bounced back far quicker than either airlines or governments had anticipated. After the industry slashed workforce numbers during the pandemic, it is now struggling to hire back fast enough to keep up.
Similar issues have hit passengers in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, as well as the United Kingdom.
British airlines have asked the country’s Transport Secretary to temporarily ease post-Brexit immigration rules so that they can access a plentiful supply of qualified workers in Europe. The government has already rejected the suggestion and blamed the ongoing problems on the industry’s failure to plan.
British low-cost carrier Jet2 was forced to deny media reports that its chief executive Stephen Heapy blamed recruitment issues on “lazy Brits who live off benefits and sit on their arses”.
The airline admitted that Brexit was making it more difficult to fill open positions but denied the quote attributed to Heapy was “categorically not” his view on the problems facing the industry.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.