Lufthansa pilots to strike on Friday, disrupting passenger flights
The summer may be drawing to a close, but Lufthansa’s woes are not. Just a few weeks after ground staff strikes forced the cancellation of thousands of flights, pilots at the German flag carrier are to stage a full-day strike on Friday, September 2, meaning more disruption is on its way.
Lufthansa pilots to strike on Friday, September 2, 800 flights cancelled
As part of an ongoing dispute over salaries, Lufthansa pilots will stage a day-long strike on Friday, September 2. The union Vereinigung Cockpit announced late on Wednesday evening that negotiations with the airline over a new collective wage agreement had failed and that it would therefore be calling a strike, after members recently voted in favour of industrial action.
The strike will affect both cargo and passenger planes. ZDF reports that 800 flights will be cancelled, including almost all flights to and from the airline's hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Around 130.000 passengers will be affected. A spokesperson said they would do everything in their power to minimise disruption, and urged passengers to check the status of their flights before travelling to the airport.
Strike latest in summer of disruption for air travel in Germany
The strike is just the latest in what has been a long summer of disruption for air passengers in Germany and across Europe. Airlines have been forced to cancel thousands of flights this summer due to staff shortages and strike action. In July, ground staff staged two rounds of walkouts, necessitating the cancellation of almost all Lufthansa flights for two days and affecting around 134.000 passengers.
The pilots’ union is asking for a 5,5-percent pay rise this year for its 5.000 pilots in Germany. So far, discussions have failed to reach an agreement. Lufthansa has criticised the union’s call for a strike, with Human Resources Director Michael Niggemann telling ARD, “The employer side has made a very good and socially-balanced offer - despite the lingering effects of the corona crisis and uncertain prospects for the global economy.”
Further strikes could also be on the horizon, after pilots at Eurowings, Lufthansa’s largest subsidiary, voted in favour of possible industrial action on Wednesday. However, union bosses want to wait to see the outcome of the next round of negotiations before making a decision on whether to strike.