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Old 02-04-14, 16:33   #1
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European Union German Air Pilots Strike-4000 Flights Cancelled

Lufthansa Strike:
Germany's Biggest Airline to Cancel 4,000 Flights as Pilots Walk Out
  • Germany's biggest airline is at a standstill as pilots walk out in pay dispute
  • Industrial action began today (Wednesday), and could drag on until Friday
  • Lufthansa will cancel nearly 4,000 flights if the strike runs for three days
By Daily Mail UK, 2 April 2014

Air passengers flying in Europe this week may find themselves hindered by industrial action – after one of the world’s biggest airlines announced a strike that could see almost 4,000 flights removed from the schedules.

Not going anywhere today: Lufthansa pilots are staging a strike that could run until Friday

Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest airline, has cancelled almost 900 domestic and international flights today (Wednesday 2 April) as Germany’s pilots’ union launched a three-day strike in a wage dispute.

The carrier expects to cancel about 3,800 flights if the walk-out continues into Friday.
This would affect over 425,000 passengers, airline spokesperson Barbara Schaedler says.

Standstill: Whatever your language, the departures board at Frankfurt Airport makes for bleak reading

Lufthansa’s budget subsidiary Germanwings – as well as its cargo division – is also affected by the strike, which the company estimates will cost ‘tens of millions’ of Euros.

The pilots’ union Vereinigung Cxxkpit announced the strike in advance, giving Lufthansa time to prepare by cancelling flights and offering passengers alternative arrangements.
Some were rebooked on trains or different airlines, Schaedler says.

‘We sent out more than 200,000 text messages to inform our customers about the upcoming strike, and also increased our capacities at our call centres to help passengers rebook their trips,’ she says.

Walk out: Lufthansa pilots stage their protest in Frankfurt - and the knock-on effect in Munich.
Lufthansa terminals in Frankfurt and Munich – the company’s hubs in Germany – have been mostly empty today.

One of the pilots’ main demands is that Lufthansa continues to provide a transition payment for those who want to retire early at 55. The airline wants to cut those payments.
The pilots are also asking for a 10 per cent wage increase.
Manfred Weiss, a 60-year-old German chef, is unimpressed by the pilots’ demands.

‘They cannot let this happen, this should be forbidden,’ Weiss – arriving home in Berlin from holiday on Lufthansa competitor Air Berlin – says.
‘I also think they have sufficient salaries. You can’t just make the passengers pay for it.’

Parked up, in neutral:
The Lufthansa terminal at Frankfurt Airport has been a picture of inactivity today

The carrier has been trying to cut costs in the face of tough competition from European budget carriers and the rising threat from government-owned airlines in the Gulf states.
Lufthansa has called for fresh talks on the matter.
‘Our wish is that we start talking again as soon as possible, even during the strike, because I think that we can find a good solution,’ Schaedler adds.

Germany's Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has called on Lufthansa and the union to seek a quick resolution for the sake of travellers.

‘Every day of strikes limits the mobility of hundreds of thousands of people,’ he said today in German daily newspaper Bild
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