Lufthansa forced to cancel over 900 flights due to pilot union’s strike

Company - Himanshu Gill - Nov 23,2016

Rating -

stars - based on 21 reviews

lufthansa forced to cancel over 900 flights due to pilot unions strike

Leading German Airline, Lufthansa has cancelled almost 900 flights on Wednesday and will also be forced to ground its planes on Thursday because of a strike by its pilots.

The pilot union, also termed as Vereinigung Cockpit, has planned on a 48 hour walkout due to a long running pay dispute causing a disruption to the airlines’ operations. The union announced in a statement that, all of its short and long haul flights out of Germany will be affected due to this strike, which is planned to run until Thursday night. However, flights by Lufthansa’s other airlines like Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines will not be affected by the strike.

Lufthansa was scheduled to have 3000 flights in this period, out of which 900 would be cancelled. An estimated 100,000 passengers would be affected by this strike. Initially, the union had called for a 24 hour strike, but later confirmed that it will continue into the next day. This is the union’s 14th strike since April 2014 on disputes over their pay.

Lufthansa made a couple of legal challenges to halt the strike on Tuesday, but lost it later in the day. A labor court in Frankfurt and the Hesse state labor court rejected the airline’s appeal.

The union has been consistently asking for a 3.7% pay hike for 5,400 pilots dating back to 2012. The pay rise talks again grabbed attention earlier this month but it was subsequently rejected by Lufthansa. The company facing a stiff competition from budget rivals, offered them a 2.5% increase over the six years until 2019 but the union refused to negotiate.

Meanwhile, a separate incident affected Lufthansa, when its low-cost airline Eurowings’ cabin crew walked out leading to the cancellation of more than 60 flights at airports in Hamburg and Düsseldorf on Tuesday.