Lufthansa schedules should be back on track today, for the meantime, after four days of strikes grounded nearly 2800 flights and affected over 350,000 passengers, costing the German airline about EUR 10 million (AUD 14.2 million) a day.
Lufthansa cancelled 35 flights yesterday (Sunday) as the long-running dispute over pay moved into its fifth day.
The issue has not been resolved and more strikes are likely.
Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister said on Thursday the action was affecting mid-term bookings. It’s the 14th time the airline’s pilots have walked out since early 2014 – not a good record in an industry built around reliability and punctuality, attributes which, ironically, are often associated with Germany.
The pilots’ union wants an average annual pay rise of 3.7% for its 5400 members in Germany, backdated to 2012. Lufthansa has offered 2.5% over six years to 2019.
Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr has said that meeting the pilots’ demands could jeopardise the future of the airline. A report in a major German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said the airline was pondering going insolvent to rid itself of its expensive pilots’ agreement. The airline denied that report at the weekend, Reuters reported.
Written by Peter Needham