• Germany's news in English

Frankfurt airport strike creates flight chaos

The Local · 31 Aug 2012, 15:48

Published: 31 Aug 2012 12:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Aug 2012 15:48 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Nearly 200 flights were cancelled and it was estimated that around 26,000 passengers were affected.

Crew union UFO said the eight-hour strike had been a success, and that it would consider on Saturday what steps to take to increase the pressure on Lufthansa.

They are fighting for a five percent wage increase backdated to January, and oppose the use of temporary cabin staff. Lufthansa’s last offer was to increase their pay by around 3.5 percent.

Around 1,000 Lufthansa stewards and stewardesses refused to work between 5am and 1pm, forcing the airline to cancel most of the 360 flights scheduled to leave Frankfurt during that period. Initially only short- and medium-haul flights were affected, but later on, flights due to arrive from the USA were also affected.

The number of planes on the ground meant that other airlines were prevented from landing as there simply was not enough space.

The disruption at other major German airports, such as Munich, Berlin and Hamburg, was limited, a Lufthansa spokesman said.

"We can't completely avoid it, because planes coming from Frankfurt also serve these airports," he added.

UFO head Nicoley Baublies told ARD public television that "the chaos should extend into the afternoon" as the effects of the strike ripple on. And he said he could not rule out further strike action.

"That depends on the behaviour of Lufthansa... We are ready to act at any moment, anywhere in Germany, by announcing our action six hours in advance," he said.

Unions had held off from strike action while last-ditch wage negotiations were still underway, but with no breakthrough in the deadlocked talks overnight Monday, UFO declared the negotiations had failed and called for immediate walkouts.

A strike by cabin crew at the beginning of 2009 cost Lufthansa tens of millions of euros.

Story continues below…

And it is not the first time this year that Lufthansa has felt the pinch from industrial action. In February, the apron control staff at Frankfurt airport walked off the job over demands for higher pay.

Management nevertheless appears willing to risk all-out confrontation. Lufthansa embarked on a cost-cutting programme at the beginning of the year with the aim of boosting its operating profit by €1.5 billion by 2014.


Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:02 August 31, 2012 by rmsbl4
I can't remember the last time fa's(flight attendendts) were refered to as stewards or stewadesses. This is probably stilled used by the people that call a 4 lane highway a dual carriage road. when is the last time you saw a carriage on the M5. Catch up with moder terminiology.

By the way it was not a Frankfurt airport strike but Lufthansa.
20:05 August 31, 2012 by srubin
Who have decided to go on the strike in the very begging of the school year?

Do you know how many kids out there?

Do you every think of impact? Do you know how many parents were not sleeping last night?

No info phone number was provided on Lufthansa website to locate even kids!!!

My child is out there: no internet connection, no phone. Where all these people who now is stuck until morning at minimum!!!

Are they in the hotel? Or sitting there? Who is helping them and us?
21:42 August 31, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Time to Boycott Lufthansa.

08:19 September 1, 2012 by Enough
Sefl serving pukes!
13:55 September 1, 2012 by blackboot11
just another item in the list of reasons NOT to with fly Lufthansa...
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd