Travel News

Lufthansa strike to hit 200,000 passengers as ground staff walk out

Simon Calder’s Travel

Up to 200,000 passengers on Lufthansa will have their flights cancelled by a short-notice strike involving ground staff at the German airline.

A short-notice walk-out by 25,000 members of the Verdi union aimed at disrupting passenger flights will run from 4am on Tuesday 20 February until 7.10am on Wednesday 21 February.

The main effects will be felt at the key hubs, Frankfurt and Munich, though Lufthansa workers at Berlin, Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart will also strike.

Lufthansa warns passengers: “Due to the strike, we currently assume that only around 10 to 20 per cent of the Lufthansa airline flight programme can be operated, particularly on 20 February.”

The German airline currently carries around 200,000 passengers a day. Besides the impact on Tuesday’s flights, the “first wave” of departures on Wednesday is being targeted – leading to many more cancellations.

Research by The Independent suggests that the vast majority of flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich, including all links serving UK airports, are grounded on Tuesday.

The first flight from Frankfurt to London on Wednesday is also cancelled.

Lufthansa says: “Passengers who are affected by flight cancellations because of the Verdi strike will be informed by email or via the Lufthansa app. We regret the inconvenience for our guests.”

Under European air passengers’ rights rules, travellers are entitled to be rebooked on any available flight as soon as possible – and provided with meals and accommodation as necessary, at Lufthansa’s expense.

Talks between the union and airline broke down last week, with Verdi claiming 96 per cent of members had rejected the most recent offer from Lufthansa.

The union says pay for ground staff is slipping behind other Lufthansa workers, and that at a time of record profits the airline should “give employees back part of their lost income from the corona pandemic”. It warns: “Major flight cancellations and delays are expected to occur.”

Verdi negotiator Marvin Reschinsky said: “While the group gives its pilots with annual basic incomes of up to €270,000 [£231,000] high double-digit pay increases, ground workers with starting hourly wages of sometimes €13 [£11] are not even expected to be compensated for the price increases of the last few years.

“This is blatantly anti-social.”

Talks are due…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…