Lufthansa says strike to axe up to 90% of flights

(FILES) An employee carries a ladder under an Airbus A 350 at the Lufthansa terminal of the Franz-Josef-Strauss-airport in Munich, southern Germany, on September 15, 2023. Ground staff at German airline Lufthansa will go on strike on February 7, 2024 in the latest industrial action to hit Europe’s biggest economy, the Verdi union said. Some 25,000 staff will take part in the walkout, which will last for around 27 hours from 4:00 am (0300 GMT), the union said in a statement on February 5. The workers are demanding a 12.5-percent pay increase over 12 months as well as one-off bonuses to counter inflation, it said. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)


FRANKFURT, Germany, Feb 6, 2024 (AFP)
– Up to 90 percent of Lufthansa’s flight schedule will be cancelled Wednesday due to a walkout by ground staff, the carrier warned, the latest strike-related travel chaos to hit Germany.

Some 25,000 staff will take part in the walkout over pay, which will last for around 27 hours from 4:00 am (0300 GMT), the union Verdi announced this week.

The strike will affect Germany’s biggest airport in Frankfurt as well as those in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Duesseldorf.

“Due to the strike, we currently assume that around 10 to 20 percent of the Lufthansa airline programme will be possible” on Wednesday, the carrier said in a warning to passengers online.

“Please only come to the airport if your flight has not been cancelled,” it said, adding that counters to rebook flights would also be closed due to the industrial action.

The airline had previously warned up to 100,000 passengers would be affected.

Lufthansa ground staff are demanding a 12.5-percent pay increase over 12 months as well as one-off bonuses to counter inflation, according to Verdi.

The airline says it has offered workers increases totalling more than 13 percent over the next three years, as well as the “prompt payment of significant inflation bonuses”.

But the union has rejected the offer as “totally unacceptable”.

The strike comes as Germany faces a growing wave of social unrest in the transport sector.

Pilots with German airline Discover, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, this week staged a 48-hour strike.

Last week, airport security staff and public transport workers across Germany walked off the job.

And two weeks ago, train drivers staged a five-day walkout, their longest ever and the fourth time they have gone on strike since November.

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