Lufthansa passengers grounded as pilots launch two day strike

Around 20,000 passengers have been affected by Tuesday’s strike

An information panel showing early morning departures and cancellations at the airport in Hamburg, Germany, 18 March 2015. German airline Lufthansa planned to cancel about 750 flights after its pilots announced their 12th strike in a year as part of a lon
An information panel showing early morning departures and cancellations at the airport in Hamburg, Germany, 18 March 2015. German airline Lufthansa planned to cancel about 750 flights after its pilots announced their 12th strike in a year as part of a lon

Lufthansa long suffering customers have seen their travel plans disrupted as the German company is hit by the 13 pilot strike in 18 months, grounding half of all long distance flights on Tuesday, with further 24 hour disruption planned for Wednesday.

Around 20,000 passengers have been affected by Tuesday’s strike running until just before midnight local time and forcing Lufthansa to cancel a total of 84 flights, almost half of the airline regularly scheduled long-haul flights, according to German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

In a statement on its website, Lufthansa said that a relatively large number of cockpit personnel said they would still fly, enabling it to operate more than half of its intercontinental passenger services despite the strike. “All in all, 84 long-haul services from or to Frankfurt, Munich or Düsseldorf will have to be cancelled, while 90 such flights can be operated,” the statement read.

Lufthansa’s customers are starting to get used to these travel disruptions, as the third largest company already suffered 10 strikes in 2014 with €232 million in estimated losses in a long running dispute between the pilot Union Vereiningung Cockpit and the German airline management. This year’s costs have been calculated at over €100 million already, according to Reuters.

Lufthansa, which is trying to cut costs to better compete with budget rivals in Europe such as Ryanair, has been able to keep some long-haul flights and its cargo flights running on Tuesday thanks to volunteer pilots.

The main striking issues have been over raising the age at which Lufthansa pilots can take early retirement and creating new pay grades for workers in the group’s low-cost branches such as Germanwings.

Lufthansa made some concessions over the weekend in an effort to persuade the pilots to return to the negotiating table, but they were dismissed by the union as lacking in substance.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in