The strike announced by the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) for Friday, Sept. 2, in the period from 00:01 to 23:59 hrs. (Central European Summer Time; GMT +2 hrs) will have a massive impact on flight operations - in the middle of the main return travel period at the end of the school holidays in Germany and other European countries. Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo departures at German airports are affected.
Lufthansa has to cancel 800 flights at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich for Friday, with single flights also being cancelled as early as Thursday, Sept. 1. An estimated 130,000 passengers will be affected, in view of the upcoming weekend, the end of the holidays in some parts of Europe. Lufthansa is working with joint forces to return its flight operations to a normal status as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, the effects of the strike may still lead to individual flight cancellations or delays this Saturday and Sunday.
Eurowings and Eurowings Discover are not affected by the strike call and are scheduled to operate as planned. Passengers affected by cancellations will be informed immediately and rebooked on alternative flights if possible.
Michael Niggemann, chief human resources officer and labor director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said, "We cannot understand VC's call for a strike. The management has made a very good and socially balanced offer – despite the continuing burdens of the COVID crisis and uncertain prospects for the global economy. This escalation comes at the expense of many thousands of customers." Specifically, a Lufthansa news release said: "The group has presented an offer with an 18-month term, in which pilots at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo will receive a total of 900 euros more in basic pay per month in two stages. This will benefit entry-level salaries in particular. An entry-level co-pilot will receive more than 18 percent additional basic pay over the duration of the agreement, while a captain in the final stage will receive 5 percent. With the agreement for the ground staff, the group has shown that it is prepared to make significant pay increases."
As an alternative, the news release states VC has been offered the option of allocating all or part of this volume elsewhere, for example for structural changes such as adjustments to the pay scale. In addition, the news release says the group is offering VC the opportunity to jointly conclude a new Perspective Agreement (German: "Perspektivvereinbarung" / PPV), which Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo cockpit staff a minimum fleet size.