Lufthansa Flights Grounded as Pilots Strike

Some 3,000 flights of German flag carrier Lufthansa have been cancelled after members of its pilots union made true their threat to hold a four-day strike over failed job-security negotiations. The strike started on Monday, with around 4,000 pilots taking part in the work stoppage.

Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline in terms of passenger volume, is expected to lose at least $ 34 million a day throughout the duration of the strike that ends midnight of Thursday. The German government had warned before the strike that the walkout could hurt the country’s economy and the airline’s reputation.

Pilots of the Cockpit Union want a job guarantee clause in their contract as protection. The union observes that Lufthansa is relying more on foreign pilots who are paid far less than their local counterparts.

Lufthansa official Stefan Lauer said the company is willing to accept the union’s demand for job guarantee but not its insistence that all pilots, including those working for foreign affiliates, be paid the same rates.