Germany's Lufthansa cuts more flights as strike continues

The carrier also said it would cancel some long-haul flights for the first time during the strike, including three return services from Frankfurt and one from Munich.

Germany's Lufthansa cuts more flights as strike continues
Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa scrapped about 78 of its 2,000 daily flights on Wednesday as thousands of ground and cabin staff staged a strike over pay for a third day.

Europe's second-biggest airline said mainly European and domestic flights would be affected as nine aircraft remained grounded because they could not be readied for flight.

The carrier also said it would cancel some long-haul flights for the first time during the strike, including three return services from Frankfurt and one from Munich.

Lufthansa Chief Financial Officer Stephan Gemkowhi said the strike could weigh on the carrier's efforts to match last year's operating result this year. "How long will the strike last? No idea," he told a conference call.

At 10:45 a.m. British time, Lufthansa shares were down 0.4 percent at 15.04 euros.

The open-ended strike by about 5,000 members of the Verdi services union began on Monday and the union said on Tuesday the impact of the strike would grow in coming days.

Verdi, which represents some 50,000 ground and cabin staff at Lufthansa, wants an immediate 9.8 percent pay rise. Lufthansa is offering 6.7 percent over 21 months and a one-off payment.

"We're here because we want more money," said striking Lufthansa worker Richard Matthay at Munich airport. "But our main concern is for Lufthansa to restart the talks with us, so that this strike can end as quickly as possible."

Ninety-one percent of union members backed the strike in a ballot.

Lufthansa on Tuesday repeated calls for the union to resume talks to bring the strike to an end as quickly as possible, though a spokesman would not say whether it was considering making a new pay offer.

Passengers would be rebooked onto other services with Lufthansa or its Star Alliance partners, the airline said.

Analysts estimate a day's strike costs the airline around 5 million euros (4 million pounds).

Reuters
Last Mod: 31 Temmuz 2008, 13:36
Add Comment