Final boarding call for Luxembourgish at Findel

Holidaymakers travelling through Findel airport will no longer be hearing announcements in Luxembourgish as a new system delivers messages in French and English only.

An automated announcement system installed this year by the airport’s management company isn’t available in Luxembourgish, transport minister François Bausch (déi Gréng) said in an answer to a parliamentary question. Adding a Luxembourgish function would have made the tool more expensive, he said.

Announcements are made in French and English, Bausch said in a joint response with foreign minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP). This “corresponds the standard at international airports and goes hand in hand with the high number of international passengers,” they said. “The goal of the announcements has to be that they are understood by most passengers.”

Splurging on a Luxembourgish language option wouldn’t have been compatible with the aviation crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the ministers said.

Passenger numbers at Luxembourg’s airport dropped by 68% in 2020 compared to the year before. Turnover decreased from €63m in 2019 to €37m last year, resulting in a €4m loss for the last financial year.

Some ad hoc announcements, for example made by staff rather than the automated voice system, will still be made in other languages, including Luxembourgish, Bausch and Asselborn said.