Köln/Bonn. Air Berlin has been cancelling flights since Tuesday morning at Cologne-Bonn and other airports because of numerous pilots calling in sick. Eurowings flights are also affected.
The bankrupt airline Air Berlin has had to cancel numerous flights today, Tuesday. A spokesman for the company said the cancellations were due to an unusually high number of pilots calling in sick. The company did not give any further information on the number of flight cancellations.
There were multiple cancellations at Cologne-Bonn and Düsseldorf airports according to the online departures information. According to a statement from Cologne-Bonn airport, eight flights (four departures and four arrivals) on the Berlin and Munich routes are currently affected. Eurowings, which has been using Air Berlin planes, pilots and crew, has also cancelled flights. Eight flights have so far been cancelled (four departures and four arrivals) on the Leipzig, Hamburg, Zurich and Nice routes. Eurowings long haul flights are not affected. Cologne-Bonn airport is warning of further disruptions to the flight plan throughout the day.
According to the German Press Agency, almost 20 flights have been cancelled in Düsseldorf. The same number has been affected at Berlin-Tegel. Passengers whose flights have been cancelled will be offered the “best possible travel alternative.”
The airline regrets any inconvenience to passengers and asks them to check the status of their flight at www.airberlin.com/fluginfo before going to the airport.
The pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) fears Air Berlin’s long haul business could be completely shut down. According to VC President Ilja Schulz, there is concern that large price increases could make long haul routes unattractive allowing them to be “scrubbed before the takeover.” Schulz says the company wants to be rid of well-paid long haul pilots before parts of the business are transferred. The VC will not tolerate such measures.
(Original text: general-anzeiger-bonn.de (with material from dpa). Translated by Kate Carey.)