German airline Lufthansa will cancel around 800 flights on Friday due to a planned pilot strike. The company said on Thursday that the move would affect around 130,000 passengers, while warning that it could also cancel some flights on Thursdays and at the weekend. Between Prague and Frankfurt am Main, Lufthansa will cancel eight flights so far, one of them already on Thursday evening. On the other hand, the flights of the same carrier from Prague to Munich are still unchanged, informed Prague Airport spokesperson Klára Divíšková.
The Vereinigung Cockpit pilot union has called a strike due to disagreements with Lufthansa management over wage increases. The VC company is demanding a 5.5% pay rise for its more than 5,000 pilots this year, followed by automatic inflation.
Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines including Lufthansa to cancel thousands of flights this summer and caused hours-long queues at major airports, making it impossible for tourists to travel after lockdowns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reports. The strike should cover both passenger and cargo flights. “Even today we did not receive a sufficient offer,” VC spokesman Matthias Baier told Deutsche Welle. “It’s sobering and a missed opportunity,” he added.
Michael Niggemann, Lufthansa’s executive board member responsible for human resources, said the German carrier had presented a good and balanced offer during negotiations and the strike would inconvenience several thousand customers. “We want a solution at the negotiating table,” he said, adding that Lufthansa’s offers were a good basis for continuing negotiations.
“The strike of this carrier (Lufthansa) will also affect Václav Havel Prague Airport. This evening’s arrival from Frankfurt has already been cancelled, as well as three arrivals and four departures from the same destination tomorrow. Flights from/to Munich are still unchanged,” said Divíšková.
Lufthansa offered a total of 900 euros (about 22,000 crowns) higher basic wages per month in two stages for a period of 18 months, as well as an agreement guaranteeing employees in the cockpits a minimum fleet size.