Cabin crew that work for Germany-based airline, Lufthansa, are striking today, disrupting flights and throwing the travel plans of thousands of passengers into chaos.
For the second time in the last few days the carrier has had to cancel nearly 200 flights due to strike action by the cabin crew over pay and conditions. This latest walkout is scheduled for eight hours and will affect flights between London and another of Europe’s key hubs, Frankfurt.
Only last Friday, the cabin crew’s first strike grounded 200 flights, delaying 26,000 passengers at a cost of millions of pounds to the airline. This was an escalation of the 64 flights that Lufthansa initially thought would be grounded, and the knock-on effect was that congestion caused the closure of Frankfurt airport to inbound flights from Europe for several hours.
The cabin crew’s union, UFO, is campaigning for a five percent pay increase, and guarantees against outsourcing and the use of temporary workers, but this is against the backdrop of Lufthansa looking to cut its costs by £1.2bn as it suffers from rising fuel costs and competition from budget airlines. The airline’s offer is a 3.5 percent pay increase for longer working hours.
An announcement by Lufthansa said, ‘The Independent Flight Attendants Organisation (UFO) has again called cabin crews to strike on Tuesday, 4 September 2012, from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Frankfurt, and from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (midnight) at Munich airports (German time). The strike at Berlin Tegel Airport has ended at 1:00 p.m. (German time). Flight operations from and to Berlin are still affected.’
Passengers should check Lufthansa’s website for updates on flight cancellations.