Europe has seen scenes of airport chaos over the past few weeks, with the most recent example being the 500 travellers left stranded at Austria’s Salzburg Airport on Sunday, June 19th, due to flight cancellations.
However, Vienna airport has reassured travellers it is prepared for the summer.
The spokesperson for the Vienna International Airport has told Austrian media that they currently have about 80 percent of personnel from before the pandemic – while passenger levels are at about 65 to 70 percent of those from 2019.
Vienna Schwechat Airport says there were no staff cuts during the pandemic, though some workers quit and others retired.
Also, Austrian Airlines said it has hired 150 new cabin staff for the spring and summer seasons and is “ready for take-off into a summer in full operation”.
Problems can still arise
“In Vienna, our partners and we succeeded, particularly through the instrument of short-time work, to keep as many personnel as possible in employment. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case at many other airports we also serve,” explained Austria Airlines spokeswoman Sophie Matkovits.
Even though airports and Austrian airlines are fully operational, they are not solely responsible for the flights. The companies stress that local operators can’t influence the situation at other airport locations.
It was the case with the Salzburg flights, according to Salzburg Airport’s spokesperson, Alexander Klaus. He said that most of the flights affected were from the Lufthansa Group, which has scrapped 900 planned flights for July to avoid cancelling at short notice.
He also mentioned there were 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.
Vienna Airport recommends checking the flight status and planning more time than usual for departure on intense travel days.