Watch Out For Possible Lufthansa Pilot Strikes

Lufthansa pilots have struck already thirteen times (mostly in the last couple of years) since 2012 when their bargaining agreement with the airline ended.

lufthansa-pilot-strike

The pilot union gave a notice to Lufthansa that they will now continue the strikes and will give the airline 24 hour advance notice prior to any action taken.

You can read more about this action on DW’s website here and on Reuters here.

Here’s an excerpt from DW:

The Cockpit union called for the strikes Monday after failing to reach an agreement with Germany’s largest airline in a long-running dispute over pilots’ salaries. The strikes would affect Lufthansa passenger and cargo services.

Representing around 5,400 captains and co-pilots, Cockpit is demanding an average annual pay increase of 3.66 percent. Lufthansa has made around 5 billion euros in profit over the past five years, but pilots’ wages have failed to keep up with inflation.

And here from Reuters:

Talks on new contracts for 5,400 pilots at the Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings divisions have been going on for four years and have resulted in more than a dozen strikes at one of Europe’s largest airlines.

Lufthansa is trying to cut costs to cope with increased competition from low-cost carriers and leaner Gulf rivals. It has managed to agree wide-ranging deals on pay and conditions with its main cabin crew and ground staff unions in Germany.

The pilots’ union said failure to agree a deal meant that its members had not had a pay increase for more than five years and that Lufthansa was offering only a pay freeze.

Conclusion

As a community carrier, Lufthansa is required to provide care (hotel accommodation, meals etc) for affected passengers and rebook them on other airlines in case of pilot strikes. The cash compensation doesn’t apply in case of employee strikes.

These negotiations between Lufthansa and its pilot union is soon on its fifth year after the previous agreement expired back in 2012. Pilots are in search for rather hefty increase. We’ll see.

There must be some unease about the growth of the Eurowings low cost subsidiary as well. Lufthansa is expanding the airline by wetleasing Airberlin planes and crews.

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