© Archives RTL
While flights are being cancelled and waiting times are getting longer at many European airports, the situation is "not comparable" at Findel, says François Bausch.
Questioned by our colleagues from RTL 5 Minutes on Friday about the "chaotic" situation in some European airports, Minister for Mobility François Bausch was rather optimistic about the situation at Findel.
According to Bausch, Luxembourg Airport is "well prepared" to face the summer traffic. The reason for this, the Minister explained, is that Luxairport "did not have to reduce its workforce during the pandemic" and was able to maintain its full capacity.
The minister admits, however, that at peak times, waiting times at Findel can become longer. "The massive increase in passenger numbers has led to longer waiting times and sometimes even a lack of parking space at peak times," Bausch explained.
Findel is therefore not spared from delays and cancellations, as could be observed during the last Lufthansa strike. However, within the airport, the minister maintains that the situation is "better" than before the pandemic.
In 2022, Luxembourg's national airline, Luxair, has hired "a little less than 100 people" assigned to sorting luggage, among other things, Bausch pointed out. For some, this might bring to mind the mountains of suitcases filmed at Heathrow airport at the end of June.
As far as Luxairport is concerned, the minister says that all precautions have been taken to ensure that security checks in the terminal are carried out properly. "These checks have priority, so that – when necessary – security personnel assigned to other tasks in the airport are called upon", he explained.
Bausch also pointed out that Luxairport's staffing levels have been increased over the past three years. "In 2019, the company had 295 employees, it now has 347," he recently wrote in a parliamentary response to the parliamentary group of the Christian Social People's Party (CSV), adding that additional recruitment is already "planned".
For its part, Luxair has seen its full-time workforce shrink since 2019. According to Bausch, the number of Luxair employees fell from 2,919 to 2,831 by 2022. This suggests that all is not rosy at Luxair. In mid-July, several trade unions spoke of an "unhealthy work environment" within the company.
According to the trade unions, the toxic work environment is allegedly caused by "a permanent high level of workload and a record level of staff fatigue". To this, the minister replies that Luxair has hired flight and ground staff "a few times" this year. However, this is not enough to return to pre-pandemic levels.
It is true that chaotic situations have so far been avoided at Findel Airport. As the second phase of holiday departures is already well underway, it is to be hoped that this will still be the case for at least three weeks.