More than 1,000 Lufthansa flights have been canceled today over a day-long strike by the airline’s German ground staff, affecting tens of thousands of passengers from the recent travel turmoil in Europe.
Around 134,000 passengers had to change their travel plans or cancel them altogether. At least 47 connections were canceled on Tuesday, the German news agency dpa reported.
The main Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt and Munich were hardest hit, but flights in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Stuttgart and Cologne were also canceled.
Regarding Dublin connections, arrivals due tonight from Munich and Frankfurt have been cancelled. Today’s Lufthansa departures to the two German cities from Terminal One in Dublin have also been cancelled.
The airline advised affected passengers not to go to airports as most service counters would be unmanned. Airport terminals were unusually empty in the early hours of the morning, but people later queued at ticket counters trying to find replacements for their canceled flights, dpa reported.
Many of the stranded passengers had come to Germany from abroad to learn that their connecting flights were grounded because of the strike.
According to a spokesman for the airport operator Fraport, 725 of 1,160 scheduled flights were canceled at Frankfurt Airport for the day. Flights from other airlines, which are usually looked after by Lufthansa ground staff, are also affected, dpa reported.
Flights from Lufthansa Group companies such as Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and the Italian regional airline Air Dolomiti were also canceled. In addition, aircraft from Croatia Airlines, United Airlines, Air Canada and the Polish LOT could not take off, dpa reported.
The service union ver.di announced the strike on Monday to increase the pressure on Lufthansa in wage negotiations for around 20,000 employees in the airline’s logistics, technology and freight sectors.
“Lufthansa did not make an adequate offer in the first two rounds of negotiations,” said union spokesman Dennis Dacke today.
“It’s time for workers to speak up now before the third round of negotiations,” Dacke said. “This is a ‘warning strike’ and the effects are visible. We hope that Lufthansa will not provoke another one in the future.”
Lufthansa spokesman Martin Leutke criticized the strikes as harmful.
“People who wanted to travel, who planned vacations for a long time, who waited for vacations, unfortunately had these vacation dreams postponed … maybe even destroyed by the strike,” Leutke told reporters in Frankfurt. “This strike is completely unnecessary. It’s also completely over the top.”
Airports in Germany and across Europe have already faced disruptions and long queues at security checks due to staff shortages and increasing travel demand.
As inflation soars, strikes for higher wages by airport crews in France and Scandinavian Airlines pilots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark have deepened unrest. Travelers are confronted with last-minute cancellations, long delays, lost luggage or long waiting times for their luggage at airports across Europe.
Travel is booming this summer after two years of Covid-19 restrictions, swamping airlines and airports short of workers following pandemic-era layoffs.
The Lufthansa strike began at 3:45 a.m. local time on Wednesday and is expected to end at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday. Germany is an hour ahead of Ireland.
Ver.di is demanding a 9.5 per cent pay rise this year and says an offer from Lufthansa earlier this month that would include an 18-month contract fell far short of its demands.
https://www.independent.ie/news/airline-cancels-more-than-1000-flights-including-dublin-routes-amid-strike-chaos-41871614.html Lufthansa flight cancellations: The airline is canceling more than 1,000 flights, including Dublin routes, in the strike chaos