Pilots at the German flag carrier Lufthansa will be banned from going on strike for nine months as part of an interim pay deal agreement between the airline and the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union.
Lufthansa’s operations were plunged into chaos when pilots staged a 24-hour strike on Friday, 2nd September after the VC union claimed the airline had failed to make a “serious” pay offer.
Around 800 flights from Lufthansa’s hubs in Frankfurt and Munich were grounded, and nearly 130,000 passengers were stranded, but the dispute dragged on until the VC union announced a second even longer walkout.
After last-ditch negotiations, the two sides announced that they had reached a “partial solution” and on Monday, Lufthansa and VC confirmed that this agreement had been signed off.
The agreement will see Lufthansa hike pilot wages by 980 Euros per month by April 2023 and in return pilots will be barred from going on strike until 30 June 2023.
From now, until the end of June 2023, the two sides will continue negotiations on a number of contentious points without the fear of pilots staging further industrial action.
“The collective agreements are still open, but the points to be negotiated can now be discussed in a confidential setting,” commented VC spokesperson Matthias Baier.
Chief negotiator Dr. Marcel Gröls said the agreement was “another step towards a more sustainable partnership” with the airline and the union was “currently on the right track with Lufthansa.”
The agreement is not far off what Lufthansa had originally proposed. Initially, the airline had offered a 900 Euro per month wage rise in two instalments over 18 months.
The deal is set to benefit junior pilots the most and new hire pilots could see their monthly basic wages jump by 20 per cent. Senior pilots will, on average, enjoy a 5.5 per cent pay rise.
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.