German airline Lufthansa has demanded €740,000 in damages from environmental hardliners “Last Generation” for blockading air traffic.
The radical green ideologues have carried out several disruptive actions, causing significant problems for air travel companies.
According to media reports over the weekend of December 16, Lufthansa has now filed a request for compensation over three incidents: a blockade at Düsseldorf Airport and Hamburg Airport in July and one at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport in November last year.
Around 55 flights were reported to have been forced to be cancelled by the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings alone on the three impacted days but other companies were also adversely affected, including the Lufthansa flagship airline itself.
According to the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, 57 Lufthansa Group flights and 8,500 passengers were hit during the protests at Hamburg Airport, causing a total of €400,000 in financial damage.
At Düsseldorf Airport, 24 flights and 3,000 passengers were affected on the same day, at a cost of an estimated €220,000.
In November 2022, 35 flights and 5,000 passengers were impacted by protests at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Some €120,000 has already been requested in payment to six defendants.
In light of the Last Generation airport blockades, German Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing declared his intention to “strengthen” aviation security legislation, saying he would work with justice minister Marco Buschmann on the matter.
“Blockades of airports to disrupt the processes there go far beyond the limits of legitimate protest. These are not petty offences either,” Wissing told the newspaper.
Higher penalties should be put in place as soon as possible, he said.
Buschmann had already announced there would be criminal consequences regarding Last Generation’s actions in July.
The Lufthansa demand comes as public support for Last Generation’s climate protests is apparently declining. Should the amount demanded in compensation be awarded, observers say it could put the future of the organisation in jeopardy.
A recent poll conducted by the international non-governmental group More in Common indicated that backing for the climate movement fell from 68 to 34 per cent among Germans between 2021 and 2023. The opinion research firm Civey also found similar results in a survey it conducted.
The so-called Awareness Team of the German climate group, Last Generation, has gone on indefinite strike against the leadership of the organisation, demanding a “credible distancing from anti-Semitism”. https://t.co/trX6Zz3V5z
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 18, 2023