Aviation

Pilot strike extended for third day, so far 200,000 affected

Daisy Melwani

A Lufthansa pilots strike which caused widespread disruption with the cancellation of hundreds of flights, appears to be intensifying with the strike expected to be extended to Friday.

The union said the walkouts would continue on Friday, but would only affect short-haul services.

The strike caused Lufthansa to cancel 900 flights yesterday, and 912 flights on Thursday, affecting  200,000 passengers. The strike started at midnight European time, and affects flights departing from German airports, including 133 long-haul flights.

Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said he expects the strike to cost between €7m and €9m a day.

Flights operated by Lufthansa Group, including Germanwings, Eurowings, Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines, will not be affected, the airline said.

Austrian and SWISS are using larger planes to carry passengers during the strike, while Lufthansa has reserved almost 4,000 hotel rooms in Frankfurt and Munich for stranded passengers, per a NBC report.

It is the 14th strike since April by the pilots union, who are demanding a pay increase.

 

“Cockpit’s demand for a pay rise… goes far above what other groups of employees have received. It is incomprehensible why the union is seeking the highest salary increase for the best paid group of employees,” Bettina Volkens, Lufthansa’s human resources chief said, as per a Reuters report.

 

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