Berlin Airport Strikes Cause Delay, Frustration Before Film Market Opens
Ground staff at Berlin's Tegel and Schonefeld airports carried out warning strikes Wednesday morning, leading to 130 canceled flights.
Strikes early Wednesday morning at Berlin's two main airports are leading to travel chaos for some industry executives struggling to get to the German capital for the European Film Market and Berlin Film Festival, which kick off Thursday.
Some 2,000 ground crewmembers at Berlin's Tegel and Schonefeld airports held so-called warning strikes between 5 and 11 a.m. local time Wednesday, leading to the cancelation of 130 flights and long delays.
Some Berlin market attendees, particularly those on long-haul flights or making connections within Europe, were caught up in the dispute.
Employees of Hong Kong-based sales company Golden Network Asia, which will be selling Jackie Chan starrers Kung Fu Yoga and Railroad Tigers at the EFM, were grounded in Paris after their connecting flight to Berlin was canceled.
"I'm stuck in the Vienna airport, hoping to arrive in Berlin later this afternoon," Julian Chiu, a sales executive for Hong Kong and Chinese production and distribution giant Edko Films, told THR.
“I guess we are going to have to rush to set up our booth [on Thursday]," Golden Network sales and marketing executive Xaey Wong told The Hollywood Reporter.
A U.S. sales executive posted on social media that he was rerouted to Leipzig, a city some 120 miles from Berlin, because of the strike, while several Europe-based execs chose to travel to Germany by train.
A simultaneous strike in Britain by British Airways cabin crew staff is also disrupting flights to Berlin.The next round of negotiations between Berlin's ground crew union and the airports is set for Friday.
Travelers can check the status of their flights online on the Berlin airport site.