Thousands of travellers affected as strikes force Lufthansa to cancels 800 flights

Strikes across Germany are contributing to the travel chaos in Europe created by industrial action in France

Tens of thousands of passengers across Europe are facing travel disruptions as strikes in Germany forced Lufthansa to cancel hundreds of flights on Tuesday.

The Germany-based carrier has cancelled half of their 1,600 scheduled connections – including 58 long-haul services. The measures have impacted a total of 90,000 passengers.

Lufthansa forced to cancel 800 flights because of strikes in Germany — Yulia Reznikov / Shutterstoc
Lufthansa have been forced to cancel 800 flights because of strikes in Germany — Yulia Reznikov / Shutterstock

The strike is being held by support services, ground handling and the fire brigade at Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, and Bremen airports.

Germany‘s major union Ver.di said the strikes aim to “increase pressure” on employers and “allow public sector workers a share in good economic performance” in Germany.

The unions are demanding a six per cent pay raise or an increase of at least $245 per month for the 2.3 million public sector workers, including airport security personnel and fire brigade officers.

The carrier has claimed that the full-day strike is “inappropriate and unreasonable” and said: “Lufthansa cannot comprehend Ver.di’s threat to carry out such a massive strike.”

Bettina Volkens, Lufthansa’s human resources and legal affairs director, said: “It is completely unacceptable for the union to impose this conflict on uninvolved passengers.

“Lufthansa is not a part of this collective bargaining conflict, but unfortunately our customers and our company are being affected by the consequences of this dispute.”

“Politicians and legislators must define clear rules for strikes and industrial actions,” she added.

“We regret that the travel plans of so many customers are being affected by this Ver.di strike and we are working on minimising the impact as much as possible”.

The situation which has arisen in Germany on Tuesday contributed to the overall travel chaos in Europe that has been created by striking employees of Air France and the French railroad’s provider, SNCF.

At least a quarter of the French carrier’s flights are expected to be affected today after a third of services were grounded on Saturday.

The airline also faces action by staff unions on Wednesday and on April 17-18 and April 24.

Air France plans to operate 65 per cent of long-haul flights, 73 per cent of medium-haul flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle, and 80 per cent of short-haul services from Paris Orly and French regional airports.