Frankfurt Airport (FRA) has become the latest to request airlines to reduce flights due to staff shortages, with Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) welcoming the move. 

Germany’s largest airport intends to reduce the number of take-offs and landings at Frankfurt Airport to 88 movements per hour from July 18, 2022. Fraport, FRA’s operator, had already reduced hourly movements to 96 from 104.  

Like other airports across Europe, Frankfurt has been struggling to cope with the sharp rebound in travel demand from the COVID-19 pandemic and has been unable to rehire staff in good time. Ground handling services have been especially affected, with the airport warning passengers of long wait times for baggage during peak periods.  

Lufthansa Group has already been cutting thousands of flights across schedules at airlines including Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and Eurowings. The group commented that other airlines would now also be cutting flights as a result of the Fraport decision.  

“Since the already increased capacities of the ground handling services in Frankfurt are still not sufficient due to a high sickness absence rate, even for the flight schedule that has already been reduced several times, the decision taken by Fraport today is right,” Jens Ritter, CEO of Lufthansa Airline, said in a statement on July 15, 2022.   

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has also asked airlines to cut flights to help ease travel congestion during the busy summer peak, but Emirates has already pushed back, saying the demands are unreasonable.  

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Emirates has refused London Heathrow’s demands for airlines to cut flights to comply with a cap on passenger numbers during the summer travel peak.