NEW DELHI: The mess at European airports this summer seems to the be getting worse. Almost all flights of Lufthansa supposed to operate to and from Frankfurt and Munich on Wednesday (July 27) have been cancelled due to a strike by group staff union ver.di.
Five Lufthansa flights scheduled to operate from these two hubs on Wednesday to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai have been cancelled. The return flights these aircraft were to operate have also been cancelled. Moreover flights that took off from these two German hubs for India and other destinations on Tuesday will now take off on Thursday — and not Wednesday as scheduled — when the strike is over.
So the impact of the one-day strike will continue till almost Friday. Passengers affected by cancellations will be informed immediately today and rebooked on alternative flights if possible. However, the capacities available for this are very limited, the airline says.
In a statement, Lufthansa spoke about the “massive impact” of ver.di strike “with almost all Lufthansa flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich cancelled for Wednesday.”
“The warning strike announced by trade union ver.di is having a massive operational impact in the middle of the peak travel season. Lufthansa will have to call off almost the entire flight program at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich for Wednesday…. Lufthansa is working flat out to return flight operations to normal as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, the effects of the strike may still lead to individual flight cancellations or delays on Thursday and Friday,” the statement said.
In Frankfurt, a total of 678 flights will have to be canceled, including 32 already today (Tuesday) and 646 on Wednesday. This is expected to affect 92,000 passengers. At the Munich hub, a total of 345 flights will have to be canceled, 15 of them already today (Tuesday) and 330 on Wednesday. It is expected that 42,000 passengers will be affected, it said.
Michael Niggemann, chief human resources officer and labour director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: “The early escalation of a previously constructive collective bargaining round is causing enormous damage. It affects our passengers in particular, who are impacted during the peak travel season. And it is putting an additional heavy strain on our employees in an already difficult phase for air traffic. In view of our high offer with very substantial pay increases over the next 12 months of more than 10% more in the pay groups up to 3,000 euros monthly basic pay and a 6 percent increase for a monthly basic pay of 6,500 euros, this so-called warning strike is in the middle of the peak summer travel season is simply no longer proportionate.”