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Lufthansa strike looms

Lufthansa strike looms
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Late on Friday German airline Lufthansa remained on a collision course with its pilots with neither side seemingly prepared to compromise in a dispute over pay and job security.

Lufthansa said a four-day strike due to start on Monday will cost it at least 100 million euros.

Jörg Handwerk, a spokesman for the Cockpit union, said the pilots would not back down: “It’s important that Lufthansa makes a substantial offer. As it stands now, we haven’t received a single serious offer from them, but a solution is most likely to be found during negotiations.”

The pilots have asked for a 6.4 percent pay rise but said more importantly they want to prevent jobs being moved to Lufthansa subsidiaries where pay is significantly lower.

Lufthansa said it has contingency plans to limit the number of cancellations.

On Friday two Lufthansa passengers questioned at Frankfurt Airport were philosophical.

One said: “From the pilots’ point of view, I can see that it’s a good thing if they are not getting what they think they deserve to get. For the tourists and people travelling, it’s of course a nightmare.”

Another was supportive of the pilots: “Honestly I can understand it. Everyone has the right to strike and even if it’s not particularly good for individuals, it’s a democratic right.”

Ticket sales have fallen as travellers book flights with other carriers in anticipation of disruptions at the airlines.

Lufthansa has said even after the strikes end it will take days to return flights to normal.