Thursday, April 3, 2014

Germany: Luthansa Pilots Strike for Second Day, Forcing Cancellation of 3,800 Flights

According to Reuters, Lufthansa pilots were on strike for a second day on Thursday (April 3), grounding Germany's largest airline in a dispute over retirement conditions.

The pilots announced a three-day stoppage earlier this week, leading Lufthansa to cancel 3,800 flights or nine out of ten flights.

The action is expected to cost the airline tens of millions of euros and disrupt the travel plans of around 425,000 passengers.

COMMENT: About 700 flights were cancelled for the day in Frankfurt, Europe's third-biggest hub passenger-wise, and a couple of hundred flights were affected in Munich, airport representatives said.

The pilots are demanding Lufthansa reinstates a program that permitted pilots to take early retirement and still receive a proportion of their pay.

Lufthansa says that now the maximum age at which pilots can still fly has been increased to reflect longer life expectancies, there is no need for the scheme.

The strike is a boost for Germany's state railway company, Deutsche Bahn, which is expecting an extra 20,000 customers a day. It normally transports around 360,000 people a day.