Lufthansa warns of severe disruption as strike threatens 90% of flights

Lufthansa, Germany’s flagship carrier, has issued a stark warning of extensive flight cancellations as ground staff prepare to strike, potentially affecting up to 90 percent of the airline’s scheduled flights on Wednesday.

The looming industrial action, announced by the union Verdi, is expected to involve around 25,000 employees demanding higher pay.

Commencing from 4:00 am (0300 GMT) and lasting approximately 27 hours, the strike will impact major airports including Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, and Duesseldorf.

In response to the impending chaos, Lufthansa advised passengers through online notifications to check the status of their flights, cautioning against unnecessary trips to the airport due to the anticipated disruption.

The airline also informed travelers that rebooking counters would be closed during the strike.

Previously, Lufthansa had estimated that up to 100,000 passengers would be affected by the industrial action.

The primary bone of contention between the airline and its ground staff lies in wage negotiations.

Verdi is demanding a 12.5 percent pay increase over 12 months along with one-time bonuses to counter inflation.

However, Lufthansa contends that it has offered increases exceeding 13 percent over three years, in addition to timely inflation bonuses.

The proposed strike adds to a series of recent labor disputes in Germany’s transport sector.

Just this week, pilots from Discover, a Lufthansa subsidiary, staged a 48-hour strike.

Last week witnessed walkouts by airport security staff and public transport workers across the country.

Furthermore, train drivers conducted a five-day strike two weeks ago, marking their longest industrial action and the fourth strike since November.