PHOTO: Nearly all airlines were affected by a 25-hour strike at Berlin's Tegel airport. (Photo via Flickr/Aero Icarus)
A strike by ground crews at Berlin’s two major airports, Schönefeld and Tegel, has caused severe disruptions and stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers, including more than 100,000 tourism officials departing from ITB, the world’s largest tourism trade fair.
The union representing the ground handlers, Verdi, called the strike with one day's notice, although the strike was not entirely unexpected.
ITB Berlin had previously posted a notice of possible alternate forms of transportation in the case of a strike. Further, officials for the trade show reminded attendees that the trade fair would remain open on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for potentially stranded passengers.
The 25-hour strike commenced at 4 a.m. on Friday and ran through 5 a.m. on Saturday and affected nearly all flights into and out of Berlin’s two airports. At Tegel Airport, 405 flights were cancelled while an additional 204 were cancelled from Schoenfield.
READ MORE: Strike causing major cancellations at two major Berlin airports.
Passengers on Germany’s largest carriers, Lufthansa, Eurowings and Air Berlin, were able to take advantage of a partnership with Deutsche Bahn and convert their airline ticket for same-day rail service. Passengers on other airlines, like Ryanair and Transavia received offers of a refund or a chance to re-book their flight for a future time.
Verdi, which is seeking a one euro per hour for staff and work contracts of at least one year, has already called other one-day strikes in Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart. The union says it is planning to call single-day strikes repeatedly over the next few weeks, with only one day's notice for all of them.