Lufthansa strike: German airline warns of extensive disruption to flights on Wednesday

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A union has called on Lufthansa’s ground staff to walk off the job for a day on Wednesday in a pay dispute, the latest of several transport strikes in Germany.

The Ver.di union said Monday it is calling on ground staff for the German airline at Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf airports to strike from 4am on 7 February and will last for 27 hours.

The union is seeking a 12.5 per cent pay raise, or at least an extra €500 per month, in negotiations for nearly 25,000 employees, including check-in, aircraft handling, maintenance and freight staff.

Lufthansa said it is working on a special timetable and criticised the scale of the strike early in the dispute.

Germany has been hit by a series of travel strikes

Coinciding contract negotiations in the rail, air and local transport sectors have made for a frustrating few weeks for travellers and commuters in Germany.

Ver.di last Thursday called security workers at most of Germany’s major airports out on a one-day strike that prompted widespread flight cancellations. On Friday, it staged a walkout that led to local buses, trams and subway trains being canceled in much of Germany. Such several-hour or one-day ‘warning strikes’ are a common tactic in German contract negotiations.

The German railway system is involved in a dispute that centres on a train drivers’ union’s demand for a shorter working week.

After a five-day strike last month, the GDL union has returned to talks with the state-owned main railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, and has agreed not to stage further strikes before 3 March.

Is your flight affected by Lufthansa strikes?

Lufthansa says it expects “extensive effects” on its flight programme on 7-8 February as a result of the strike. 

Passengers with flights booked on these dates will be informed of cancellations and rebooking options from around 4pm today (Monday) via email or the Lufthansa app, it says. They are advised to check regularly for updates.

If flights are cancelled at short notice and there is no suitable alternative flight, the airline usually allows passengers to convert their ticket into a Deutsche Bahn train ticket free of charge.

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