The Lufthansa chaos news is changing faster than the airline’s aircrafts can take off! First it was the global pilots’ strike and then the news of the second strike and before passengers and airports could prepare themselves for the upcoming catastrophe, the news about the strike being called off came about from the airline. All these developments (and their aftermath) occurred in less than a week’s time.
On 2nd September, Lufthansa pilots went on a one-day strike and caused a collective chaos at airports globally.
With almost 800 flights cancelled across the world, passengers were stranded at terminals. The chaotic scenes at Delhi Airport’s T3 consisted of some 700 passengers who couldn’t take their Lufthansa flights and this scene could be of any airport where the airline’s flights were cancelled. The two flights cancelled from Delhi were for Delhi-Munich and Delhi-Frankfurt routes. Frankfurt is a popular layover route for passengers from India taking a connecting flight to the US. So, it was likely quite a harrowing time for passengers who received the information about their flight cancellation.
The pilots’ union in Germany, the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) claims they had confirmed the news about the strike overnight. This applied to both passenger and cargo flights. The strife between the management and the pilots is due to wage rate disagreements and it escalated massively leading to ruckus at airports.
A Second Strike Averted
Since the union and the management didn’t reach an agreement by the end of the last week, another strike was planned for Wednesday, 7th September. But a quick talk between the parties resulted in the union calling off the strike. And it’s a good thing. Due to the strike on Friday, some 130,000 passengers were affected. The cost to the airline was €32 million ($32 million) approximately.
Still; the final talks between the union and the airline are still pending. There is no way to tell when the next Lufthansa strike could occur. The management has proposed a wage hike for pilots. But it is still not clear if the union has accepted the offer. Apparently, the union is not happy with the airline’s offer of €900 hike per employee. This amounts to (as per the airline) 5% raise for experienced pilots and 15% for junior and new pilots. The union wants the raise to account for 2023 inflation adjustments and the management to agree to a hike of 5.5% for every pilot.
For now, the Lufthansa’s pilots’ strike is averted. Imagine the loss brought about by a two-day strike if the one-day strike placed Lufthansa in chaos on a global scale and with a massive €30 million loss. Not to mention the chaos at airports along with the inconvenience of the passengers.
If you are taking flights to India via Lufthansa then double-check your bookings (for now). You can always book last-minute flights from US to India via Indian Eagle.