At Lufthansa, the announced warning strike by ground staff began last night. This was confirmed by a spokesman for the Verdi union at Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday morning. The hub, along with Munich, will be hit hardest by the strike planned for 27 hours. As a precautionary measure, the airline canceled between 80 and 90 percent of its approximately 1,000 scheduled flights for Wednesday.
In addition to Frankfurt and Munich, Verdi has also called on employees of various Lufthansa companies to take industrial action in Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf. The first flights were canceled on Tuesday evening. According to the company, more than 100,000 passengers had to reschedule. At the other airports in Germany, connections to and from Frankfurt and Munich have generally been canceled.
If flights within Germany are canceled, customers can use their flight ticket to take the train. Under no circumstances should passengers of canceled flights come to the airport, warned Lufthansa. They couldn't expect any help there. “Due to the strike, the rebooking counters are unfortunately not staffed,” said the airline’s website. Free rebooking options are available via lufthansa.com, the customer app and the service center.
However, passengers from Lufthansa subsidiaries and external airlines are not or hardly affected. For example, the direct flight subsidiary Eurowings is planning to fly its entire program. They are not affected by the union's announcement, but do not rule out the possibility that there may be isolated irregularities due to the strike measures.
This applies in particular to services that Eurowings obtains from Lufthansa group companies for individual processes. For example, in Düsseldorf, Eurowings jets are brought into position by vehicles from Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services (Leos). However, there are alternatives at the location for this company that went on strike on Wednesday. At other airports, such as the Lufthansa hub in Munich, external service providers are used, a Eurowings spokesman also said.
At the hubs in Munich and Frankfurt, the skeleton crews are supposed to give priority to the flights of the foreign Lufthansa sister companies Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines in order to keep their networks functioning. Lufthansa customers will then also be rebooked on these flights.
Strike meetings are planned for Wednesday in Berlin and Frankfurt. The strike is scheduled to end on Thursday at 7:10 a.m. Lufthansa is expecting a bumpy start to operations on Thursday with some cancellations and delays. Operations should have completely returned to normal by Friday.
Bavaria: In Munich, 80 to 90 percent of the 400 planned Lufthansa flights are canceled. In Nuremberg, eight flights to and from Frankfurt were canceled.
Rhine-Main: At Germany's largest airport in Frankfurt, 80 to 90 percent of the approximately 600 planned take-offs and landings for the Lufthansa core brand and the group's own feeder Air Dolomiti have been canceled. However, the other group companies and external airlines fly.
Baden-Württemberg: In the state capital Stuttgart, six Lufthansa connections to Frankfurt and Munich are missing from the flight schedule. There were no changes to the three planned departures from Friedrichshafen to Frankfurt.
Hamburg: All 23 planned Lufthansa departures at Hamburg Airport are canceled. This can be seen from the airport's online departure schedule. These include 12 flights to Munich and 11 to Frankfurt. In return, arrivals starting at these two Lufthansa hubs will also be cancelled. The approximately 30 flights from Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings to holiday destinations are all scheduled to start as planned.
Berlin/Brandenburg: All 46 Lufthansa flights were canceled at the capital's BER airport. The original plan was to have 23 takeoffs and landings each. According to the website, all flights from the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings will be carried out. This also applies to the flights of the Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss.
NRW: In Düsseldorf, 14 of the 15 planned Lufthansa connections to Munich and Frankfurt are canceled. Eurowings is planning all 52 departures for this purpose. Other airlines may only have to expect delays due to the strike at the Lufthansa pushback subsidiary Leos. On the Cologne Airport website this morning, five Munich connections were listed as canceled.
In the ongoing collective bargaining dispute, Verdi is demanding 12.5 percent more salary, but at least 500 euros per month for a term of twelve months. There will also be a group-wide uniform inflation compensation bonus of 3,000 euros. The next round of negotiations is planned for February 12th in Frankfurt am Main. Lufthansa points to past wage increases and has offered 13 percent more money and an inflation compensation bonus for a period of three years.