Today’s Warning Strikes Have Massive Consequences for Air Cargo and Lead to Significant Challenges for Humanitarian Aid Flights

Today’s Warning Strikes Have Massive Consequences for Air Cargo and Lead to Significant Challenges for Humanitarian Aid Flights

In the collective wage dispute between the German trade union Verdi and the employers of the public sector, strikes are being held today at seven German commercial airports, bringing air traffic at these locations almost to a complete standstill.

Not only several hundred thousand national and international passengers, but also the global transport of freight and goods—including parts of humanitarian aid logistics—are directly affected by these strikes. Michael Hoppe, Chairman and Executive Director of BARIG—the airline association of national and international airlines in Germany—explains accordingly:

“Today’s warning strikes at seven German commercial airports are having a significant impact on the movement of cargo and goods, not only in Germany but worldwide. At Frankfurt Airport, which is by far one of the most important air freight locations in Europe and worldwide, hardly any goods can currently be handled. In order to maintain supply chains, considerable volumes of freight must alternatively be transported by trucks to airports abroad such as Brussels or Liège, where they are finally loaded onto aircraft. The situation is particularly challenging in terms of sensitive products and goods for which, for example, fast, temperature-controlled transport is essential. Furthermore, the strikes are also having a significant impact on the logistics of humanitarian aid deliveries, as in the immediate case with aid transports to Turkey and Syria. Here, we have logistics chains that are especially complex and highly sensitive. Despite special permissions for transport and alternative airports, there is hardly any chance that disruptions, which are inevitably caused by such strikes, can be completely mitigated.

Therefore, we urgently demand to consider the measures taken in the current wage dispute with sound judgement and to take  into account the effects on the interaction within the economy and society. Negotiations must lead to constructive solutions. Strike action such as we are experiencing today has partly massive and persistent consequences for mostly uninvolved parties.”

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