Lufthansa pilot strike extended into Saturday

25 / 11 / 2016

Lufthansa pilots will extend their strike action into the weekend, this time targeting only long-haul flights and with all-cargo flights again escaping the industrial action.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union announced last night that the industrial action they first launched on Wednesday would be extended to run from 00.01 on Saturday morning until 23.59 in the evening.

This time the industrial action will effect only long-haul flights leaving Germany, and not short and medium-haul.

While Lufthansa Cargo pilots have not been called to join the strike action, any cargo due to fly in the belly of long-haul passenger flights could be affected.

“Lufthansa is working to make sure that the flight schedule on short- and medium-haul routes will largely operate as planned,” the German airline said.

“Individual flights within Germany and Europe may be cancelled as a result of the previous days’ strikes. A special flight schedule for Saturday’s long-haul flights will be finalised by noon tomorrow. Lufthansa plans to operate a few long-haul flights in spite of the strike.”

The strike centres on union demands for improved pay of 3.66%. VC claims that the pilots have gone more than five years without a pay rise.

More than 2,618 flights were cancelled over the first three days of the strike.

Lufthansa Hub Frankfurt chief executive Klaus Froese, who is also an A320 captain, said the industrial action is driven by emotion.

“The immense amount of built-up pressure decreases the available courses of action for solving the problem instead of increasing them.

“This goes against the nature of work in the cockpit… I get the sense that the strikes are not based on a structured decision making process; they seem to be driven by emotion.”

VC dismissed claims that the airline’s future was under threat by the salary increase demands while Lufthansa is calling on pilots to return to mediation.