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April 20, 2021
BUSINESS

Thousands stranded by Lufthansa cabin crew strike

The strike would cost the company millions of euros, according to German carrier.

A strike by Lufthansa cabin crew disrupted hundreds of flights on Friday, stranding thousands of passengers who faced further delays over a busy holiday travel weekend from a rolling series of stoppages about pay and cost cuts, Wall Street Journal informs. Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport AG said it had asked for no flights to depart to Frankfurt from European destinations, citing a lack of parking positions at Germany’s busiest airport due to planes grounded by the strike. Intercontinental flights were not affected, Fraport said. German carrier Lufthansa said also that a strike by its cabin crews over better pay and working conditions would cost it millions of euros.
Germany’s biggest airline said it had cancelled most of the 360 scheduled arrivals and departures at its Frankfurt hub during Friday’s eight-hour strike, which followed the breakdown of 13 months of talks with trade union UFO. UFO, which represents around two-thirds of Lufthansa’s 19,000 flight attendants, did not rule out further stoppages over the weekend and said it could call for industrial action at other airports “today or tomorrow”.
“It depends a lot on what Lufthansa’s response is,” UFO head Nicoley Baublies told Bayerischen Rundfunk radio, warning the airline not to pressure workers to break the strike. The stoppages were initially focused on flights to and from Frankfurt, but might affect the airline’s wider European and global network and could cost it millions of euros a day in lost revenue. Lufthansa said it would try to place passengers on trains and alternative flights. Operating around 1,850 flights a day, mostly from Frankfurt and Munich, Lufthansa also needs to generate more profit to pay for EUR 17 billion worth of new aircraft on order. UFO warned last week that the industrial action could continue for a long time and widen into nationwide stoppages if Lufthansa does not meet its demands.

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