Observers estimate that the difficulties arise due to the lack of staff who were laid off during the pandemic and did not return to their old jobs afterwards. German airline Lufthansa has canceled all flights scheduled for Wednesday to and from Frankfurt and Munich in the following days due to a strike by ground staff, the company said on Tuesday.
Passengers don't have much choice
"Passengers affected by this measure have been informed and offered alternative flights, but they are also very limited," Lufthansa said in a statement. Service workers' union Verdi has called Lufthansa's ground staff on a one-day warning strike that is due to start on Wednesday morning and last for 24 hours.
In Frankfurt, Lufthansa's main base, 678 were canceled and in Munich, the second most important airport in Germany for connecting Lufthansa flights, 345 flights were suspended. Lufthansa has again fiercely criticized the strike, which it said was "disproportionate" in relation to the objective.
"Negotiations on salary increases are at a very early stage, and a strike in the middle of the summer vacation season is causing enormous damage," said Lufthansa HR chief Michael Niggemann. The strike is also a big burden for Lufthansa employees in this, as he said, "sensitive period for air traffic"
The Verdi trade union is asking for a 9.5 percent wage increase and a minimum hourly wage of 13 euros for employees. Negotiations between the pilots' union and Lufthansa are ongoing, so pilot strikes in the coming weeks are not excluded.
Since the start of the holiday season, German airports have been in a chaotic situation due to staff shortages, making it difficult to ship passengers. Due to problems with security controls, hundreds of flights have been canceled so far.
Observers estimate that the difficulties arise due to the lack of staff who were laid off during the pandemic and did not return to their old jobs afterwards. Cancellations include some international flights from Bangkok, Singapore, New York, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, and New Delhi.