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Lufthansa Pilot Union Goes on Strike, Causes Systemwide Delays

Lufthansa flight crew (Photo: Lufthansa/Gregor Schlaeger)

The Lufthansa pilot union, Vereinigung Cockpit, is going on strike, causing some operational issues for the airline.

The pilots apart of the union called for a 24-hour strike on Nov. 23, 2016. The strike has cancelled nearly 900 Lufthansa flights, leaving flights operated by Germanwings, Eurowings, Austrian Airlines, SWISS, Air Dolomiti, and Brussels unaffected. These carriers are in the process of helping the stranded Lufthansa passengers by using larger aircraft on certain routes.

Lufthansa expects nearly 100,000 passengers on both domestic and international flights to be affected.

Pilots from the VC say they are striking due to wage issues, calling for an increase of 3.7% for their annual income. The union is backing their argument with the company’s profits over the past few years and the significant salary increases that the airlines’ executives and board members have recently been receiving.

Lufthansa attempted to stop the strike by allowing a third party to take care of the issue, however, the union did not like the attempt and the plan was stopped by a Frankfurt court judge.

The airline also attempted to make an offer to the union of a 2.5% increased pay until 2019, however, the union declined adding that the airline was not making a serious offer.

Both Lufthansa and Vereinigung Cockpit apologized to the passengers for the inconvenience. Lufthansa is offering effected passengers the ability to rebook for free. They are also offering train vouchers for those who were planning to travel within Germany. Full refunds will also be issued upon request.

This is the 14th strike by the VC which follows a strike by the Lufthansa flight attendants in 2015. That strike lasted seven days and claimed the title of the longest strike in history.

Matthew Garcia


  • Matthew Garcia

    Matthew Garcia became interested in aviation at the age of 12 when he installed Microsoft Flight Simulator X on his computer. He was instantly "bitten by the bug" and has been in love with aviation ever since. Matthew took his first introductory flight in 2013 and began normal flight training in February of 2015. Over the years, Matthew's love and knowledge for aviation has grown tremendously, mainly due to FSX. Garcia flies highly advanced aircraft in a professional manner on a highly complex virtual air traffic network simulating real world flying. In 2016 Matthew achieved his private pilot certificate from the FAA. Now he studies journalism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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