Lufthansa: further walkouts

2010-02-22 15:55

kalahari.com

Frankfurt – Lufthansa cancelled two-thirds of its flights on Monday as its pilots began a four-day strike over pay and job security and threatened further walkouts.

The German flag carrier, reeling from years of upheaval in the global airline sector, has predicted around 3 200 cancellations over the next four days, allowing customers to change bookings or giving them train tickets.

Worst hit were Lufthansa's Frankfurt hub, Europe's third biggest airport, and Munich. Also affected were Lufthansa Cargo, one of the world's biggest freight carriers and the firm's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings.

"The strike is going fantastically well," Alexander Gerhard-Madjidi, a spokesperson for the Cockpit union representing 4 000 pilots, told rolling news channel N-TV.

"We hope that we are going to get some movement in the next four days (in talks with the company). If not, next week or later, of course we are going to have to plan further strike action."

Dramatic and indefensible

"The effects of the strike are dramatic and indefensible," said Lufthansa spokesperson Klaus Walther.

"Four days of strikes, costing us €100m, and that's not taking into account the damage to our image."

With the strike announced last week and Lufthansa informing its passengers beforehand of cancellations, the usual Monday morning rush at Frankfurt airport failed to materialise as customers made other arrangements.

The huge departures board in the main terminal showed all but a smattering of scheduled Lufthansa flights as cancelled.

But many were caught unawares, like 55-year-old Silvia Martin and her husband from Strasbourg, France, who got up at 03:00 for the 225km drive to Frankfurt, only to discover their flight to Venice was cancelled.

"No one told us last week. They are going to reimburse us for the flight, but not everything else like the guided tours we had booked. I am sickened," she told AFP.

Last-ditch talks

Last-ditch talks over the weekend between unions failed to achieve a breakthrough, and pilots began walking off the job at midnight on Sunday.

Cockpit is pressing for a 6.4% pay rise but more importantly it wants commitments from Lufthansa that pilots will not lose their jobs as the airline shifts passengers to cheaper foreign affiliates.

Lufthansa says this is "pure invention" and that "not one" pilot job has been outsourced.

European airlines have been fighting for survival for several years as they battle with the triple threat of low-cost airlines poaching customers, soaring high fuel costs and the worst global recession in decades.

Lufthansa has made a number of smaller acquisitions such as BMI, the former British Midland, and Swiss, and is cutting overheads by €1bn.

But the pain remains. Sales slumped 13% in the first nine months of 2009, the last figures available, with operating income down 76%. It warned a positive full year result was subject to "very considerable risks."

- SAPA

Read more on:    lufthansa  |  germany  |  air travel
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.