Lufthansa announced the cancellation of nearly all of its flights in Germany on Wednesday due to strike action, the company said in a press release Tuesday.
Given that a strike of ground staff by trade union Ver.di will have “a massive operational impact in the middle of the peak travel season,” the airline said it “has to cancel almost the entire flight schedule at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich for Wednesday.”
With the summer holiday season underway, the airline said it was already working under high pressure to reestablish flight schedules for this weekend, following previous strikes.
Wednesday’s strike may still lead to individual flight cancellations or delays on Thursday and Friday, Lufthansa warned.
At Frankfurt airport, a total of 678 flights will be canceled, 32 of them on Tuesday and 646 on Wednesday, according to Lufthansa. An estimated 92,000 passengers will be affected.
At the Munich hub, a total of 345 flights will have to be canceled, including 15 on Tuesday and 330 on Wednesday. An estimated 42,000 passengers will be affected, Lufthansa said.
Lufthansa, which is Germany’s flag carrier, added that rebooking capacities for passengers affected by cancellations are very limited.
The union Ver.di is calling for a 9.5% wage increase for Lufthansa ground staff, with a minimum increase of €350 per month for 12 months. Staff are overworked due to significant staff shortages, high inflation and a three-year wage freeze, the union said.
Michael Niggemann, chief human resources officer and labor director at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, told journalists Tuesday that the strikes were “causing enormous damage.”
Lufthansa had offered “very substantial pay increases over the next 12 months,” he said, adding that the strike action “is simply no longer proportionate.”