Tuesday was bad, yesterday there were many irregularities, today there are problems – and it becomes much worse tomorrow. Unless there is a last-minute restart to negotiations between Lufthansa and its cabin crew, it will be a grim prelude to the weekend, affecting an estimated two-thirds of the airline’s flights and creating chaos in most German and many other European airports. The predicted 24-hour strike threatens to paralyze large parts of the air traffic to and from Germany – provisionally up to 1,200 cancelled flights out of Lufthansa’s 1,800 daily flights, including 43 to and from Scandinavia.
UFO the 18,000-strong cabin crews’ union, has announced the 24-hour strike from midnight. Up to now, 350 aircraft have already been cancelled in Lufthansa’s network, and there will probably be many more. Unlike the previous strikes, this time many overseas connections will also be axed for the day.
Lufthansa has expressed a will to negotiate, but there does not appear to be a thaw in the deadlock. Tuesday’s strike meant that a number of aircraft are not in place, so a series of departures from the US to Germany today, for example, have been cancelled.
Lufthansa is offering all passengers to rebook to other group companies free of charge. The strike this time affects flights to and from airports in Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart. The airline’s “goodwill policy” enables passengers with confirmed bookings for Friday September 7 and Saturday September 8 to rebook their tickets. Passengers can choose to rebook to a new travel date before November 30 or to rebook to companies in the group including Austrian, Tyrolean, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Germanwings.
“We have let it be free for our passengers to rebook to other group companies,” says Morten Balk, country manager at Lufthansa Group in Denmark. “The best advice will be to follow the Lufthansa website. If there is a strike, and you can see that the flight is affected, contact the travel agent or our call centre.”
According to Lufthansa, flights will be operated on Friday by Lufthansa Regional not covered by the conflict (Air Dolomiti, Augsburg Airways, CityLine, Eurowings).