A new walkout by Lufthansa pilots on Tuesday forced the cancellation of 50 flights in Frankfurt, Germany’s busiest airport,
20,000 passengers, the airline said.
Flights in and out of the
hub were being affected but a company spokesman said the situation was
calm and that Lufthansa was confident it would operate all 32 flights it
had promised would take off.
In its fourth labour action in
recent weeks, the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit called on its
members to strike on long-haul flights departing from the airport
between 8:00 am and 11:00 pm (0600-2100 GMT).
Affected were flights operated on Airbus A380, A330 and A340 aircraft, as well as Boeing 747 jets.
“The situation in Frankfurt is calm. It seems like a normal day,” the spokesman told AFP.
pilots are striking over changes to their retirement benefits being
introdcued as part of deep restructuring in recent years to bring down
the German carrier’s costs.
Pilots can currently take paid early
retirement from the age of 55. They are fighting a plan by the airline
to raise the minimum age and to involve pilots in the financing of their
Tuesday’s work stoppage was the fourth by the pilots’ union in recent series of bottom-line-hitting operations.
first strike at the end of August hit Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary
Germanwings. The second walkout hit from Frankfurt and the third
stoppage targeted Munich airport, Germany’s second-busiest air hub.
Cockpit already grounded thousands of Lufthansa flights during three
days of strikes in March and April, costing the airline around 60
million euros ($76 million).
Many of Europe’s older airlines are
running into opposition from powerful unions as they try to cut costs to
compete with budget rivals.
On Sunday, Air France’s main pilots’
union ended the longest strike in the carrier’s history to allow
“calmer” talks to go ahead over the contentious issue of the airline’s
low-cost subsidiary Transavia.