Germany’s Lufthansa cancels flights amid pilot strike threat

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Pilots at German airline Lufthansa will strike on Friday amid an ongoing wage dispute that could prolong the summer of travel chaos. Lufthansa announced that it will cancel “almost all” flights on Friday due to the strike.

According to a statement from Germany’s largest airline on Thursday, 800 Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo flights on Friday, September 2 are affected, with the strike “provisionally impacting 130,000 passengers.” 

Lufthansa said that while it was working to normalize the situation, “isolated cancellations or delays” on Saturday or Sunday were also possible. 

The pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit is demanding a 5.5% pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots but said discussions had failed. The strike would affect both passenger and cargo flights.

“We have not received a sufficient offer today either,” said VC spokesperson Matthias Baier. “This is sobering and a missed opportunity.”

Ongoing travel woes

The strike announcement comes after pilots at Lufthansa’s subsidiary Eurowings earlier in the day also voted in favor of strikes. They, however, first want to continue wage negotiations with their employer.

Airlines including Lufthansa have been forced to cancel thousands of flights this summer due to strikes and staff shortages. 

They have caused hours-long queues at major airports, frustrating travelers.

Earlier this month, Lufthansa’s management reached a pay deal with ground staff, averting further walkouts after a strike had forced it to cancel more than 1,000 flights.

zc, msh/wd (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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