Pilots at German flag carrier Lufthansa are set to stage a two-day strike from Wednesday after the airline allegedly refused to table an improved pay proposal above an 11,000 Euro per year offer. Pilots staged a one-day strike less than a week ago, but there have been no negotiations in the meantime.
The walkout is likely to ground Lufthansa operations around the world, and the airline could be forced to cancel at least 160 flights from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. More than 260,000 passengers could be left stranded if the strike goes ahead.
The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union announced the second walkout on Tuesday morning, giving less than 24 hours notice before the strike was set to begin. Matthias Baier, spokesperson for the union said the walkout would go ahead unless the airline made a “serious” pay offer.
“Unfortunately the persistence forces at Lufthansa are considerable. It is now important that the parties find each other quickly and with due seriousness at the negotiating table,” commented Marcel Gröls, chairman of tariff policy at the union.
Pilots employed by Lufthansa’s passenger airline will strike from 12:01 am on Wednesday until 11:59 pm on Thursday. Cargo pilots will begin their strike at the same time but will remain on strike until 11:59 pm on Friday.
The strike will not affect flights operated by Lufthansa’s Eurowings brand.
Lufthansa says it has offered pilots a 900 Euro per month pay hike which would be paid in two stages over 18 months. Junior pilots would benefit the most from Lufthansa’s proposal, but the offer would still represent a 5 per cent pay rise for senior Captains.
The airline says it has agreed to last ditch talks on Tuesday in an attempt to avert the walkout.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.