Lufthansa group hit by strikes, 100,000 passengers to be affected

Lufthansa group hit by strikes, 100,000 passengers to be affected

BERLIN — Cabin crew at Lufthansa’s budget unit Eurowings launched a 15-hour strike Tuesday, causing dozens of flight cancellations, as the German carrier warned customers to prepare for a larger walk-out by pilots Wednesday.

The Cockpit union announced Monday that pilots of all short- and long-haul flights out of Germany will go on strike in a dispute over pay.

The airline said Tuesday that “due to tomorrow’s strike 876 of 3,000 LH Group flights had to be cancelled.” It said about 100,000 passengers would be affected, including on 51 intercontinental connections.

The Cockpit union says the airline has been posting “very good numbers for years” but that its pilots haven’t seen any consequent pay increases.

It has been asking for a 3.66 per cent yearly raise for a period of 5 1/2 years. Lufthansa has called the union’s position “absolutely incomprehensible.”

The disruptions follow a decision by the ver.di service workers’ union to call on Eurowings cabin crew based in Duesseldorf and Hamburg to walk out Tuesday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. (0400-1900 GMT).

News agency dpa reports that 50 of 88 planned flights to and from Duesseldorf have been cancelled, while at least seven departures and seven arrivals in Hamburg were scrapped.

The airline and two unions are in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. The other union, UFO, staged a 24-hour walkout last month.

Ver.di says it’s insisting on a separate deal for its members.

The airline urged passengers planning to travel Wednesday to check its website for information about cancelled flights.