Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Losses Mount at Lufthansa as Pilots Strike Again

Costs at Lufthansa Airlines continue to mount as members of the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union engage in yet another strike called for November 29 and 30. The action has affected all short-haul services from Germany on Tuesday and, unless the sides reach an agreement, short-, medium- and long-haul services from Germany on Wednesday.

Lufthansa said it has instituted special schedules for both days, allowing for the operation of 2,184 of the 3,000 scheduled Lufthansa Group flights on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Lufthansa Group plans to operate a total of 2,110 flights. The resulting 816 cancellations of short-haul services will affect some 82,000 passengers on Tuesday, while the 890 cancellations on Wednesday will affect around 98,000 travelers.

In all, Lufthansa expects the latest six days of strike action since last Wednesday to affect 525,000 passengers through a total of 4,461 flight cancellations.

The strike has not affected group airlines Eurowings, Germanwings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines. Vereinigung Cockpit has also not called on the pilots of Lufthansa Cargo to strike.

Lufthansa has promised affected customers to rebook or cancel their flights free of charge. For routes within Germany, the airline has also agreed to exchange flight tickets for Deutsche Bahn rail travel vouchers.

The latest action marks the 15th strike since early 2014 by Reuters’ reckoning.

Lufthansa has offered pilots a 2.4 percent salary increase for 2016, a 2 percent raise in 2017 and a single payment worth 1.8 months’ pay. The union continues to insist on an average annual pay raise of 3.7 percent over a five-year period retroactive to 2012.

(Gregory Polek - AINOnline News) 

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