Lufthansa braces for second strike in a week

5 Sep 2014 by GrahamSmith

Lufthansa passengers flying in and out of Frankfurt this evening have been warned to expect severe disruption if a planned pilots' strike goes ahead.

The German airline estimated that more than 200 flights and 25,000 passengers will be affected by the industrial action, which is scheduled to take place between 1700 and 2300 local time.

The strike is the second called by the Vereinigung Cockpit union in seven days. A walkout last week saw 70 per cent of flights operated by Lufthansa's budget carrier Germanwings cancelled (see news, August 28).

The pilots are protesting plans to change the current scheme in which they retire at 55 and retain some of their pay until they reach the state pension age.

Lufthansa today accused them of inflicting their dispute on "many thousands of summer holidaymakers, commuters and business travellers".

Kay Kratky, a Lufthansa board member, said: "The renewed strike by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots' union is an imposition on our customers.

"The timing in particular is unacceptable, as the last weekend of the school holidays... is the peak travel period for families. Commuters and business travellers will also face particular disruption on a Friday afternoon.

"Since the strike was announced after 1700 yesterday evening already, we have not been able to increase our Lufthansa call centre capacity in good time. However, we will now do everything within our power to minimize the impact of the strike on our passengers."

In April, a three-day pilots' strike saw Lufthansa cancel 3,800 flights (see news, April 1).

Graham Smith

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