Staff shortages lead to cancelled flights in Salzburg

Over the weekend, several hundred passengers were left stranded at Salzburg Airport in Austria.

A passenger waiting for their flight at an airport.
A passenger waiting for their flight at an airport. Photo: Marco López/Unsplash

Several flights from Salzburg were cancelled on Saturday and Sunday – including scheduled flights to Cologne, Corfu and Calabria, reportedly leaving between 400 and 500 people stranded at Salzburg Airport as a result. 

According to Alexander Klaus, spokesman for Salzburg Airport’s operating company, it was mainly aircraft from the Lufthansa Group which were affected.

READ ALSO: Will Austria see travel chaos in airports this summer?

The Lufthansa Group has therefore taken 900 flights planned for July out of regular service, so as to avoid having to cancel more flights at short notice. These connections no longer appear on booking platforms or with tour operators.

But the thinning out of flights is not only a result of airline staff shortages but also at the airports.

Alexander Klaus said that there are also significant staff shortages at Frankfurt and Nuremberg airports, even though Salzburg Airport is sufficiently staffed: “When one link in this chain starts to swing, you feel it everywhere,” he said.

“It is important for our passengers to know that you have to allow enough time if you want to start your vacation. It would also be very wise to contact the travel agent, tour operator or airline beforehand and check if everything should go according to plan on the planned flight.”

In general, passengers who are unable to take a flight will be accommodated either by their airline or by the tour operator, Klaus said: “They will be offered alternatives as to how they can take their vacation. Of course, passengers also have rights. If a flight is delayed, cancelled or completely taken off the schedule, then you get compensation.”

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

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Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austria's railways are set to grind to a halt on Monday due to failed negotiations between unions and rail operators, the country's railway system (ÖBB) said on Sunday.

Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austrian railway workers will hold a one-day strike on Monday after another round of negotiations between unions and railway representatives failed.

The fifth round of negotiations over pay rises for 50,000 employees from 65 different railway operators, including the main national operator ÖBB, had failed to come to a resolution.

Vida, the trade union that represents the workers, has asked for a wage increase of €400 – an average increase of around 12 percent.

In response, Austria’s Chamber of Commerce offered an increase of a 8 percent.

With walkouts set to go ahead, there will be no regional, long-distance or night trains on Monday.

“After more than twelve hours of intensive talks, the [two sides] unfortunately did not manage to come to an agreement,” the ÖBB said in a statement.

Cross-border traffic and night travel could be affected, and the ÖBB also warned of “individual train cancellations” on Sunday evening and even on Tuesday.

Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB, said in a statement: “I cannot understand this strike at all. With an offer of 8.44 percent, the ÖBB has made the highest offer of any sector.”

“This is clearly a malicious strike on the part of the union,” he added.

Vida union negotiator Gerhard Tauchner said that they “are fighting for a sustainable cost of living adjustment… which will give relief to those with lower and middle incomes in particular in the face of skyrocketing prices.”

Austria’s year-on-year inflation rate hit 11 percent in October.