Lufthansa cancels 800 flights across Germany as pilots strike over pay
140.000 passengers will have their travel plans disrupted on Friday after Lufthansa cancelled almost all flights in and out of Germany in response to a pilot strike over salaries.
Lufthansa operations paralysed as pilots strike in Germany
Lufthansa pilots have managed to almost entirely paralyse the German flagship airline’s operations by staging the day-long strike. Lufthansa has been forced to cancel more than 800 flights at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, affecting 130.000 passengers.
Passengers travelling through other German airports, including those in Berlin, Hannover and Bremen, will also face cancellations, while disruption like follow-up cancellations and delays will likely plague the entire sector into the weekend.
Anyone travelling on Friday has been urged to check the status of their flights. Affected travellers should already have been notified via email or SMS. They are also being advised to not go to airports and instead travel by train or on a different day. Passengers whose flights have been affected will be entitled to refunds and perhaps also compensation.
Flight cancellations to affect people returning from holiday
The industrial action comes just as the school holidays come to an end in several German states, including Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland, spelling potential chaos for people returning from holidays, especially families with kids.
The strike only affected the core Lufthansa company and Lufthansa cargo flights. Subsidiary airlines like Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine and Eurowings Discover are still scheduled to fly, as are other subsidiaries like SWISS and Austrian Airlines.
The pilots' union is asking for a 5,5-percent pay rise, a demand that has been dismissed as “unreasonable” by Lufthansa bosses, given the current economic climate.
The airline recently caved into the demands of ground workers, who went on strike twice in July to secure salary increases. The industrial action over the summer forced Lufthansa to cancel thousands of flights.