LATEST: German airport strike sees 90 percent of Lufthansa flights cancelled

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LATEST: German airport strike sees 90 percent of Lufthansa flights cancelled
Passengers check in for a Lufthansa flight at Düsseldorf airport on Tuesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | David Young

Up to 90 percent of Lufthansa's flight schedule was cancelled Wednesday due to a walkout by ground staff, the carrier said, the latest strike-related travel chaos to hit Germany.


Some 25,000 staff took part in the walkout over pay, which will last for around 27 hours from 4 am, the union Verdi announced this week.

The strike affected Germany's biggest airport in Frankfurt as well as those in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf.

In Frankfurt, 80 to 90 percent of approximately 600 planned take-offs and landings had already been cancelled.

In Munich, more than half of all flights are cancelled -- 400 take-offs and landings are affected. According to the airport, these are almost exclusively flights of Lufthansa and its partners.

At the capital's BER airport, all outgoing and incoming Lufthansa flights will be cancelled, affecting 46 flights.

In Düsseldorf, 14 of 15 departures and 13 of 14 arrivals to and from Munich and Frankfurt are cancelled. Other airlines expect delays because the staff who tow aircraft from the terminal to the taxiways are also on strike.

In Hamburg, the 23 scheduled Lufthansa departures are cancelled, according to the airport's online flight schedule. 

"Due to the strike, we currently assume that around 10 to 20 percent of the Lufthansa airline programme will be possible" on Wednesday, the carrier said in a warning to passengers online in the run up to the strike.

"Please only come to the airport if your flight has not been cancelled," it said, adding that counters to re-book flights would also be closed due to the industrial action. In the event of cancelled domestic flights, customers can switch to the train with their ticket. 

The airline had previously warned up to 100,000 passengers would be affected.

READ ALSO: Over 100,000 passengers affected as Lufthansa ground staff set to strike

Lufthansa ground staff are demanding a 12.5-percent pay increase over 12 months as well as one-off bonuses to counter inflation, according to Verdi.

The airline says it has offered workers increases totalling more than 13 percent over the next three years, as well as the "prompt payment of significant inflation bonuses".


But the union has rejected the offer as "totally unacceptable".

The strike comes as Germany faces a growing wave of social unrest in the transport sector.

Pilots with German airline Discover, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, this week staged a 48-hour strike.

Last week, airport security staff and public transport workers across Germany walked off the job.

And two weeks ago, train drivers staged a five-day walkout, their longest ever and the fourth time they have gone on strike since November.

READ ALSO: Public transport to hospitals: Which strikes are coming up in Germany?

With reporting by DPA



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