More than 1,000 Lufthansa flights were canceled on Wednesday over a day-long strike by the airline’s German ground staff, impacting 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 had already been canceled on Tuesday, the German news agency dpa reported.
The main Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt and Munich were hardest hit, but flights were also canceled in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Hanover, Stuttgart and Cologne.
The airline advised affected passengers not to come to the airports, as most of the counters there were not manned anyway.
Services union ver.di announced the strike on Monday to put pressure on Lufthansa in negotiations to pay around 20,000 workers at the airline’s logistics, engineering and freight subsidiaries.
The strike comes at a time when airports in Germany and across Europe are already struggling with disruptions and long queues at security checkpoints 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 the chaos for travelers faced with last-minute cancellations, long delays, lost luggage or long waits Luggage at airports were faced Europe.
Travel is booming this summer after two years of Covid-19 restrictions, swamping airlines and airports short of workers following pandemic-era layoffs. Airports such as London’s Heathrow and Amsterdam’s Schiphol have limited daily flights or passenger numbers.
The Lufthansa strike began at 3.45am local time (2.45am BST) on Wednesday and is expected to end early on Thursday.
Such “warning strikes” are a common tactic in German labor negotiations and typically last from several hours to a day or two.
Ver.di is demanding a 9.5% pay rise this year and says an offer from Lufthansa earlier this month that would include a contract for an 18-month period falls well short of its demands.
Lufthansa HR Director Michael Niggemann argued that “this so-called warning strike in the middle of the peak summer travel season is simply no longer proportionate”.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/more-than-1000-lufthansa-flights-cancelled-as-staff-go-on-strike-41871089.html More than 1,000 Lufthansa flights canceled due to strikes