Eight airports in Germany have cancelled hundreds of flights due to strikes organised by security staff over pay revision.

It is estimated that the cancellations and subsequent delays will affect around 220,000 travellers at airports including Munich, Hanover, Bremen, and Hamburg, as well as Germany’s busiest travel hub Frankfurt.

The strike was called by the German trade union Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (Verdi) and lasted from 2am until 8pm local time. Verdi represents around 23,000 aviation security workers.

The trade union has demanded that wages should be increased to €20 per hour for staff who provides passenger, freight, personnel and goods checks services at all airports across Germany.

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“Verdi is unjustifiably carrying out these strikes on the backs of travellers, airlines and airports.”

Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport has cancelled 610 out of approximately 1,200 scheduled flights.

Germany’s second largest travel hub Munich Airport has also axed almost 100 mainly domestic flights.

The ADV airport association called the strikes as ‘irresponsible’.

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ADV head Ralph Beisel said: “Verdi is unjustifiably carrying out these strikes on the backs of travellers, airlines and airports.”

Verdi defended its position, stating that it was forced to increase the pressure as discussions with the BDLS employers’ failed to yield any result.

Verdi board member Ute Kittel told public broadcaster ZDF: “Employers did not respond to last week’s warning strikes at all, they haven’t come up with an improved offer.”

Wage rates currently vary across Germany, with staff in some airports in the east of the country earning around €14 hourly compared to just over €17 for their counterparts in the capital and western regions.