PThe punctuality values of the Lufthansa Group are really not that good during the current flight chaos. Just 41.2 percent of the flights are said to have taken off on time in the past week – i.e. with a maximum delay of 15 minutes. This emerges from an internal document of the group, which is available to the FAZ. The punctuality target of 85 percent was clearly missed. Even the much-criticized Deutsche Bahn seems better: It recently announced for the month of May that 62.7 percent of its long-distance trains ran within a five-minute tolerance.
Looking for the reasons, Lufthansa comes to the realization that it is the German hubs – especially Frankfurt – that are spoiling the balance sheet. At the home base of Deutsche Lufthansa, only 26 percent of the flights last week are said to have taken off on time. Only 91 percent of the flights took off at all. The subsidiary Austrian Airlines, on the other hand, achieved a rate of 56 percent at its home base in Vienna – also far below the target value, but better.
“The situation in Frankfurt is particularly challenging,” explains Detlev Kayser, board member responsible for flight operations, in the internal document. “Weaknesses have a particularly serious effect on the most important Lufthansa Group hub due to the size and complexity of the airport.”
According to the document, other central airports in the group network have higher punctuality values than Lufthansa in Frankfurt with a value of 26 percent. The subsidiary brand Swiss achieved 47.3 percent for take-offs in Zurich, the core brand Lufthansa in Munich still 40.3 percent, for the second brand Eurowings, which has a strong presence in Düsseldorf, a value of 37.1 percent is given.
Sick reports due to Corona and overload
In Frankfurt, the fact that the departure board shows four high-load waves a day, which are more pronounced than at other airports, has an effect. “This makes it more difficult to catch delays that build up over the course of the day,” explains Kayser. In addition, there is an “extraordinarily high sickness rate, currently more than 30 percent” in Frankfurt. Reasons for illness are corona infections and overload.
“At the station” is an important addition. It should be about the sick leave at Lufthansa itself, which also leads to short-term flight cancellations. The airport operator Fraport also reports an increased number of sick leave, 15 percent of the employees are absent.
The Frankfurt airport operator Fraport itself is not satisfied with how operations are currently running under staff shortages. CEO Stefan Schulte apologized to passengers at an event on Tuesday evening. However, he rejects that there is a disastrous development. “We were able to prevent a chaos in which the company almost collapsed,” said Schulte. “The security checks have worked well in Frankfurt so far, while that was not the case at other airports.”