Aircraft of the German airline Lufthansa – illustrative photo.
Frankfurt/Munich – The largest German airline Lufthansa has been dealing with an outage of its computer system since the morning, which complicated the plans of thousands of people around the world. Among other things, check-in and boarding systems are not working. Lufthansa called in a crisis team because of this and later announced that the outage was due to construction work in Frankfurt am Main, during which optical cables were damaged. Around midday, Frankfurt Airport said it would cancel all arrivals and begin diverting planes to other airports.
In addition to Frankfurt, passengers at Munich airport were particularly affected by major complications. The damaged cables belong to Deutsche Telekom, according to the airlines, their repair will take until this afternoon.
Prague Airport registered one canceled flight from Frankfurt via Prague back to Frankfurt this morning. “Nothing else has been canceled yet. We recommend monitoring the carrier's website,” airport spokeswoman Klára Divíšková told ČTK.
In Germany, Lufthansa canceled all domestic flights and urged passengers to use trains. It is not yet clear how many flights are delayed or cancelled. The Bloomberg agency reported that Lufthansa had canceled all departures, to which the company responded by saying that it could not yet confirm this. Later, a company spokesman said that Lufthansa had stopped departures from Frankfurt.
The reason for canceling landings in Frankfurt is to prevent congestion at the hub, an air traffic control spokesman said. Planes are therefore diverted to other airports, for example to Nuremberg, Cologne or Düsseldorf. In the case of Lufthansa's second hub, which is Munich Airport, air traffic control has not yet proceeded with any restrictions. However, this option comes into consideration if the problem lasts longer.
Shares of Lufthansa, which also includes Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings, were down almost two percent around midday. But they were not far from the annual maximum, where they gradually reached thanks to the increased interest in travel after the lifting of the restrictions introduced due to the covid-19 pandemic.