Lufthansa Crew Strike Cancels 290 Flights, Affects 37,000 Passengers

As expected the cabin crew union strike at Lufthansa began to disrupt the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers early Friday morning, with the airline canceling nearly 300 flights. 

The week-long strike, the result of a failed pension talks between the union and airline, began with walkouts on flights from Frankfurt and Duesseldorf, Reuters reports.

So far, Lufthansa says it has cancelled 290 planned flights on Friday, affecting around 37,000 passengers.

The canceled flights included 15 long-haul departures, typically international hours-long flights. However, the airline said eight long-haul flights are expected to take off as expected.

More flight disruptions are expected on Saturday, according to the union. For now, the walkouts will not affect Lufthansa’s hub in Munich until after Sunday, Reuters reports.

Despite the hefty number of travelers affected by the hundreds of cancellations, Lufthansa estimates 90% of the flights it typically operates on a Friday will go on as planned.

The strike was a result of a breakdown in last-minute talks between Lufthansa and the union. According to the airline, the union rejected the latest proposal that would have met demand related to current employees but would have created different retirement benefits and pensions for future employees.

Reuters reports that if the airline doesn’t make concessions, the union will carry out the strike until Nov. 13.

“We regret this course of action, but we see no alternative,” union head Nicoley Baublies said.

Lufthansa flights hit as crew start longest-ever strike [Reuters]

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