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How transport strikes in Germany will hit travel to Switzerland

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
How transport strikes in Germany will hit travel to Switzerland
Most Lufthansa planes are grounded during the current strike. Image by Pit Karges from Pixabay

Two major strikes are planned for Thursday and Friday in Germany, with both rail and airline / airport workers walking out simultaneously. This will impact travel to and from Switzerland.

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Strikes in neighbour countries are nothing new or unusual, affecting Switzerland to a greater or lesser extent.

This is what you can expect from the two current German walkouts:

Air travel

Lufthansa ground staff is holding a nationwide strike from 4 pm today until 7:10 am on Saturday.

As a result, "flight operations on March 7th and 8th will be limited to 10 to 20 percent of the flight schedule,” the airline announced on social media.

If you were planning to fly with Lufthansa to or from Switzerland during this time, it is likely that your flight will be cancelled, in which case you should have already received an email to this effect from the airline.

Also today, security staff will be on strike at Frankfurt and Hamburg airports.

This industrial action will affect the Hamburg-Zurich, Frankfurt-Zurich, and Frankfurt-Geneva flights today.

While the outbound SWISS flights to these two cities will depart according to schedule, "we have to operate empty return flights, without passengers,” according to the airline's spokesperson.

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Trains

Deutsche Bahn  (DB) drivers will strike today and until Friday 1 pm.

This means that many cross-border connections to and from Germany will be canceled.

On the Swiss side of the border, the connections are replaced by substitute trains, so that "domestic traffic is affected as little as possible,”  a spokesperson for Swiss national railways (SBB) said. 

You can track (no pun intended) strike developments on the SBB’s website here

Given the frequency of industrial actions by German rail personnel (the last two were held in November 2023 and January 2024), the Swiss Federal Office of Transport even went as far as to suggest that in the future, DB trains should stop at the border in Basel, where passengers would switch to more reliable Swiss trains.

 READ ALSO: Why Switzerland beats Germany for reliable trains

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