BERLIN (Reuters) – A planned strike at seven German airports on Friday will cause “massive disruption”, Fraport, the operator of the country’s biggest airport in Frankfurt, warned on Wednesday.

The Verdi union on Wednesday called on workers at airports in Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Dortmund, Hanover and Bremen to strike for 24 hours, saying collective bargaining over wage demands had made little progress.

“On Friday, February 17, 2023, there will be massive disruption to air traffic,” Fraport said, urging travelers to avoid the airport that day.

According to Verdi, the strike should particularly affect domestic flights. The union said it filed a strike notice to allow passengers to find alternative options.

The walkout also coincides with the start of the 59th Munich Security Conference, which brings hundreds of people from around the world to the Bavarian capital.

The strike will affect the conference schedule, its spokesperson said.

A Verdi spokesperson said attendees should be able to land in Munich through emergency services.

European airlines have been facing social unrest since last year, with a rapid recovery in tourism leading to staff shortages and runaway inflation prompting employees to demand higher wages.

(Reporting Katharina Loesche, Andreas Rinke and Klaus Lauer; written by Miranda Murray and Rachel More; Lina Golovnya, editing by Tangi Salaün)

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