In an ongoing and bitter row over pay, Lufthansa’s pilots have extended their strike action to end on saturday, after originally stating that it would end on friday. The pilots in are in a long running pay dispute with the carrier. With this being the 14th strike by the pilots since 2014. The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit wants an average increase of 3.7% to the pay of the more than 5,000 pilots who fly for the airline. Thus far Lufthansa have come up short with a deal offered of only 2.5% deal until 2019. Thus far the union have declined to enter further mediation with airline as they are too far apart on the deal.
The extended strike will likely cause increasing headaches to the carrier, which is one of europe’s biggest. The strike will affect some 830 flights on friday disturbing the travel plans of up to 100,000 passengers. Lufthansa have quoted that the first two days of the strike have cost them in the region of 21m euros. This is coupled with the unknown cost to the future of the business as passengers may change their plans to alternative carriers. It’s estimated that by the time the strike is finished, (if it does indeed end on saturday) that over 300,000 passengers would’ve been affected directly affected by the strikes.
In a statement issued on the company’s website they state that “Lufthansa sincerely apologizes to its passengers for the inconvenience caused by the strike of the pilots union “Vereinigung Cockpit” and will do everything possible to keep the impact as low as possible. A special flight schedule for 24 November as well as 25 November 2016 has been enabled allowing almost all intercontinental flights on 25 November 2016 to take place. A special flight schedule for 26 November 2016 will be activated as soon as possible.” You can read the whole release here.
Lufthansa’s stance is that they cannot afford to give in to the union’s demands. It would simply make their long term existence a lot less profitable. Especially in a sector that’s moved towards “lean” processes. How this will pan out is unclear, but industry experts back the airlines position and believe that any short term losses are acceptable against the potential long term effects of caving in to the union’s demands on pay. But many will be worried that Lufthansa haven’t been able to settle the dispute thus far.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.