Lufthansa Forced to Cancel all Flights From Frankfurt and Munich as ‘Ver.di Strike’ Intensifies

Photo Credit: Piotr Bozyk/AviationSource

LONDON – German flag carrier Lufthansa is facing significant operational challenges as the trade union announced ‘Ver.di strike’ has intensified over peak summer travel season, forcing the airline to cancel all its flights from its major hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.

As the busy summer holiday season in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg and peak weekend traffic starts flowing from today, the carrier is working rigorously towards bringing its flight operations to normality and thus serve the passengers with efficient and optimised flight services.

But there are still possibilities that it will take a while for the operations to return to normal and to its complete potential.

Owing to the strike at Frankfurt and Munich, the carrier was forced to cancel around 678 flights from Frankfurt on Wednesday with additional of 646 on Wednesday along with 32 already remain cancelled on Tuesday, affecting overall 92,000 passengers exclusively at Frankfurt.  

Meanwhile at Lufthansa’s Munich base, around 345 flights were cancelled on Monday, along with 15 of those stands cancelled on Tuesday and around 330 on Wednesday. This affected around 42,000 passengers exclusively from Munich hub.  

The carrier has assured its passengers that all the affected customers will be informed immediately of disrupted flights, and the airline will accommodate them on alternative flights, subject to the availability of capacity on the said routes.

Speaking on this, Chief Human Resource Office and Labor Director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Michael Niggemann said that:

“The early escalation of a previously constructive collective bargaining round is causing enormous damage. It affects our passengers in particular, who are impacted during the peak travel season. And it is putting an additional heavy strain on our employees in an already difficult phase for air traffic.”

“In view of our high offer with very substantial pay increases over the next 12 months of more than 10 percent more in the pay groups up to 3,000 euros monthly basic pay and a 6 percent increase for a monthly basic pay of 6,500 euros, this so-called warning strike is in the middle of the peak summer travel season is simply no longer proportionate.”

Lufthansa has agreed to offer a package with substantial components which will come into effect as of 1st July 2022 and will be accumulated over 18 months.

This will see an increase of €150 per month starting from 1st July 2022, with further basic pay increase of €100 per month with effect from 1st January 2023. The group has offered 2% increment in compensation as of 1st July 2023, as long as group’s earnings are in positive.

The carrier has also assured that it will increase minimum wages to €13 per hour with effect from 1st October 2022.

With the given pay negotiations between trade unions and the carrier, it is expected that the airline will be able to bring its operations to normality by mid-August as the carrier has to offer seamless operations over busy summer holiday season.

Furthermore, in the given scenario, persistent flight cancellations and rebooking’s can hamper passenger trust in the carrier and would affect further operational challenges in coming months.

It is indeed evident that Lufthansa is making all efforts to bring the services back to normal and getting people across to their desired destination, but ongoing disruptions could last for week till the operations return to normality.  

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Ajinkya Gurav

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