Frankfurt, 7 November 2019 (dpa/MIA) – A two-day strike by cabin crew at German airline Lufthansa started on Thursday, with some 1,300 flights and 180,000 passengers expected to be hit.
On Thursday, 700 of 3,000 planned flights are to be cancelled, with 600 axed on Friday.
Lufthansa lost a bid to halt the strike at a Frankfurt labour court on Wednesday, and also failed in its appeal against that decision later in the day.
The strike, organized by the Ufo trade union, is aimed at securing demands for higher expenses and allowances for Ufo’s approximately 21,000 Lufthansa flight attendants, as well as better access to regular employment for seasonal workers.
The majority of take-offs from Germany with LH flight numbers have been cancelled, including numerous intercontinental connections from its two hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.
Swiss, Austrian, Edelweiss and Brussels Airlines are not affected despite being owned by Lufthansa, but German subsidiaries such as Eurowings could eventually be affected.
Lufthansa has offered customers free rebooking options.
Fraport, which owns Germany’s biggest airport in Frankfurt, also Lufthansa’s biggest hub, said on Wednesday it was in “crisis mode” to be able to deal with the strikes and would inform affected passengers as early as possible.
After an initial warning strike from Ufo at Lufthansa’s four German subsidiaries last month, more than 100 flights were cancelled.
The last regular Ufo strike on the core Lufthansa brand dates back to 2015 and lasted a week, the longest in the company’s history.