Pilots union says Lufthansa strike to last through Saturday
BERLIN » A union representing pilots at German airline Lufthansa said Thursday that its members plan to extend their labor strike through Saturday.
The four-day strike, which began Wednesday, comes amid a long-running dispute over wages.
Lufthansa has been forced to cancel hundreds of flight a day.
The airline said it expects some 100,000 passengers booked on short- and mediumhaul flights to be affected by the walkout Friday.
Long-haul flights will be operating, as will flights run by other Lufthansa group airlines such as Eurowings, Swiss and Austrian Airlines, the airline said.
The Cockpit union said the work stoppage on Saturday would affect all intercontinental connections from Germany.
Maintaining that the airline, Germany’s largest, has been posting significant profits for years, the union has demanded retroactive raises of 3.66 percent a year going back 5½ years.
Lufthansa has countered with a significantly lower offer, and has offered to bring in an arbitrator.
The latest strike by Cockpit is the 14th since April 2014 in the long-running dispute. It comes as Lufthansa restructures to meet increasing competition from Gulf airlines and European budget carriers.
“With a demand of 20 percent wage increases we cannot make Lufthansa fit for the future,” said Lufthansa executive Harry Hohmeister.
With the Friday cancellations, Lufthansa said overall it has had to cancel 2,618 flights this week, affecting 315,000 passengers.