The airline Eurowings wants to bring tens of thousands of harvest workers to Germany together with German farmers' associations. The subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group already offers initial services on a specially set up harvest workers' website to bring urgently needed seasonal workers to their places of work as quickly as possible. The first Eurowings special flights, for example from Düsseldorf to Bucharest (Romania) and back, are already scheduled to take off this week.
Via the address eurowings.com/erntehelfer, farmers can indicate their specific seating requirements, the desired departure point of their respective harvest workers and the desired arrival point in Germany. Eurowings and the Lufthansa Group will schedule special flights for agricultural associations and farmers on the basis of these requirements. The aim is to provide the best possible help to German farmers in a very difficult situation as well as to counteract supply bottlenecks for fruit and vegetables.
Many farms are currently unable to harvest or sow their fruit and vegetables because tens of thousands of harvest workers are missing in the country as a result of the entry bans imposed in the wake of the Corona crisis. Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner and Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer agreed last week that urgently needed harvest helpers may enter the country by plane from other EU countries under strict hygienic conditions, as more and more farmers are in need because of the upcoming harvest. An entry permit for 40,000 seasonal workers was issued for this purpose.
Farmers' President Joachim Rukwied is already warning of a shortage of fruit and vegetables. Farmers are currently acutely confronted with the decision whether they should cancel planting material. "The harvest will not wait, nor can sowing be postponed", said Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner. "In order to supply consumers with sufficient and high-quality domestic food even during the Corona pandemic, farmers are dependent on the cooperation of foreign seasonal workers".
As market leader, the Lufthansa Group can offer numerous special flights to German destinations quickly and flexibly. Eurowings is the largest airline at the airports of Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne/Bonn, while Lufthansa offers the largest range of flights at its two hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Special flights are also being planned for Berlin, Karlsruhe and Nuremberg, depending on the needs of farmers and their respective associations.