The union representing the pilots of the German flagship airline Lufthansa voted overwhelmingly in favor on Sunday Industrial action that could result in an official strike.
Such a move looms if the Vereinigung Cockpit union continues to complicate the already disrupted summer travel season.
Lufthansa serves at least 20 US airports and carries passengers to Frankfurt and Munich.
The pilots want to negotiate a new contract that would include pay rises amid sky-high inflation. Reuters reported early Monday that Lufthansa was working to resolve the dispute before a strike could begin.
The risk to US travelers who might be booked with Lufthansa is significant, Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and president of the Atmosphere Research Group, said in an email. If there were a strike before mid-September, he said, it could have a significant impact on summer leisure flyers. Should it occur after September or later in the fall, business travelers would be more affected.
“US travelers shouldn’t hit the panic button just yet, but they’d better know where it is,” he said.
Lufthansa will likely seek to prioritize its U.S.-Europe flights over its other long-haul routes and its flights within Europe, Harteveldt said.
On routes where Lufthansa either cannot operate all of its own flights or is unable to operate flights, it will seek to divert passengers to other airlines with which it has partnerships, such as United Airlines and Air Canada, he said.
“But no matter how hard it tries, I doubt it will be able to operate every flight on every route between Germany and the US,” Harteveldt said.
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/lufthansa-pilot-strike-could-hit-20-us-airports-rcna40957 An impending strike by Lufthansa pilots would hit 20 US airports