Oliver Smith, The Daily Telegraph, March 21, 2013
Members of the ver.di union began a seven-hour walk-out at 5am on Thursday, affecting flights at several major airports, including Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt.
The airline has sacrificed most of its domestic and short-haul operations until noon, in an attempt to keep its long-haul schedule running on time.
Dozens of flights scheduled for this afternoon have also been cancelled, with services to and from Heathrow, Birmingham, Aberdeen and Dublin among those hit.
“Lufthansa regrets any inconvenience to Lufthansa passengers caused by the threatened strike measures by ver.di union and will do its utmost to minimise impacts on passengers,” it said on its website.
“Affected passengers can refund or rebook their flights free of charge. If your flight is operating, please plan for some extra time when travelling to the airport, as you may experience longer waiting times in the terminals.”
The strikes come as the airline seeks to freeze pay and force staff to work an extra hour a week, in a bid to cut costs in the face of increased competition from low-cost and Middle Eastern airlines.
Ver.di is calling for a 5.2 per cent increase in salaries for its 33,000 members employed by Lufthansa.