Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa Airlines has cancelled 800 flights globally due to a one-day pilots’ strike, resulting in around 700 passengers being stranded at the T3 terminal at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). Stranded passengers and their relatives registered strong protests on the intervening night of Friday at Delhi airport.
“An information was received at IGI Airport at 12.15 AM in which it was conveyed that crowd has gathered on the main road in front of Departure gate no. 1 Terminal 3 IGI Airport. On reaching the spot it was found that approx 150 persons were present there and because of this, the traffic moment was slowed down. The crowd was demanding for a refund of money or alternate arrangement to be made for their relatives who were present inside the Terminal building,” airport police said.
Lufthansa airline operates two flights from Delhi to Frankfurt and Munich which remain canceled on Friday.
“On enquiry, it was found that two flights of Lufthansa airlines were cancelled. LH 761 (Delhi to Frankfurt) having 300 passengers and scheduled departure at 2.50 AM and another Lufthansa flight LH 763 (Delhi to Munich) having 400 passengers and scheduled departure at 1.10 AM cancelled,” said an official.
“Both the flights were cancelled by the Lufthansa headquarters due to One day worldwide strike of all the pilots of Lufthansa airlines for salary appraisals,” Airport police said.
Security concerns had arisen at the Delhi airport last night due to the movement of Lufthansa passengers at the terminal building following the cancellation of a Lufthansa Airlines flight.
In the viral video, passengers are shouting at the airport for justice and money back, with the official also pointing out that most of the students were supposed to travel by Lufthansa last night.
Germany’s Lufthansa airlines to cancel 800 flights today, likely affecting 130,000 passengers, after the pilots’ union, announced a one-day strike.
Lufthansa said while it was working to normalize the situation, “isolated cancellations or delays” on Saturday or Sunday were also possible.
The pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) confirmed overnight that Lufthansa pilots would stage an all-day strike on Friday both for flights by the core passenger business and its cargo subsidiary, DPA, German News Agency reported.
VC says it is demanding a 5.5 per cent pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots, as well as automatic inflation adjustments for 2023, but said discussions had failed.
During the coronavirus crisis, Lufthansa terminated the agreement and started to set up a new airline with lower pay scale conditions, bypassing the collective deal.
“We have not received a sufficient offer today either,” said spokesperson Matthias Baier. “This is sobering and a missed opportunity.”
Michael Niggemann, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG said, “We cannot understand VC’s call for a strike. The management has made a very good and socially balanced offer – despite the continuing burdens of the Covid crisis and uncertain prospects for the global economy. This escalation comes at the expense of many thousands of customers.”
According to the statement, the Group has presented an offer with an 18-month term, in which pilots at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo will receive a total of 900 euros more in basic pay per month in two stages. This will benefit entry-level salaries in particular.
An entry-level co-pilot will receive more than 18 per cent additional basic pay over the duration of the agreement, while a captain in the final stage will receive five per cent. With the agreement for the ground staff, the Group has shown that it is prepared to make significant pay increases.