BERLIN, Sept 1 (Reuters) – About 800 flights in Frankfurt and Munich will be cancelled on Friday due to a pilots strike, with 130,000 passengers likely affected, said Germany’s flagship carrier Lufthansa .
The airline added that some flights on Thursday will also be cancelled and that it could not rule out individual flight cancellations or delays over the upcoming weekend as well.
“Lufthansa is working flat out to return flight operations to normal as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.
Germany’s Lufthansa Thursday said it would do everything possible to minimise the effects of a pilots’ strike set to begin on Friday and defended its offer during wage talks.
The union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), said late on Wednesday that pay talks had failed and the strike would affect both passenger and cargo services.
VC is demanding a 5.5% pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots and automatic inflation compensation thereafter.
Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines including Lufthansa to cancel thousands of flights this summer and caused hours-long queues at major airports, frustrating holidaymakers keen to travel after COVID-19 lockdowns.
Michael Niggemann, the Lufthansa executive board member responsible for human resources, said the German carrier had made a good, balanced offer during talks and the strike would inconvenience several thousand customers.
“We want solutions at the negotiating table,” he said, adding that Lufthansa’s offers were a good basis for continuing talks.
Lufthansa has offered a total of 900 euros ($901.35) more in basic pay per month in two stages over an 18-month term as well as an agreement guaranteeing cockpit staff a minimum fleet size.
($1 = 0.9985 euros)