UPDATE: Lufthansa strike called off as pilots in Germany reach wage deal

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UPDATE: Lufthansa strike called off as pilots in Germany reach wage deal
A departure board in Munich airport shows cancelled Lufthansa flights on September 2nd. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

Pilots at German airline Lufthansa have called off a planned strike later this week following a last-minute deal in wage negotiations with the carrier, their union Cockpit said Tuesday.


The pilots of both passenger and cargo aircraft were due to begin their industrial action from Wednesday, but "an agreement has been reached," said a spokesman from Cockpit, adding that the walkout "would therefore be cancelled".

Hours before, pilots flying passengers planes had said they would walk out for two days, while the industrial action for those operating cargo flights was set to last a day longer. 

Faced with the threat of new chaos, Lufthansa's management said on Tuesday that it would put forward a "better offer" to the union at urgent talks during the day. The new offer was accepted. 

No details were provided as yet about the wage deal, and Lufthansa has declined comment.

But the pilot union has been seeking a 5.5 percent wage increase by the end of the year, compensation for inflation and adjustments on its salary grid.

Lufthansa has said the entire package sought by Cockpit would raise pilot personnel costs by 40 percent or €900 million.

It comes after the airline was forced to cancel almost all its flights in Germany on Friday due to a pilots' walk-out, affecting 130,000 passengers.

READ ALSO: How Lufthansa pilot strike is affecting travel in Germany


It's been a summer of chaos at airports and airlines due to staff shortages following the lifting of Covid restrictions and a surge in demand. 

Tense pay talks

With inflation soaring, collective salary bargaining is expected to be tense in the coming months across Europe.

Union IG Metall has called a demonstration on Saturday to kick off the collective wage bargaining for the metals and electrical industry.

Its "Mitte" chapter, which represents workers in the regions of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Thuringia, said it would be seeking eight percent more wages for 12 months for the 400,000 workers it represents.

German consumer prices rose by 7.9 percent in the year to August, according to data published last week by the federal statistics agency Destatis.


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