Passengers wait at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, September 4, 2012.
The fresh round of strikes by the cabin crew working for Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa has led to the cancelation of at least 300 flights, inflicting huge financial loss on the airline.
The second round of strikes in a row on Tuesday at Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich airports forced Lufthansa to cancel nearly 300 flights, which account for about one-sixth of the airline’s daily number of services.
“It is difficult for the company to cushion the impact. We cannot just get new flight attendants, and the personnel buffer is limited,” said Lufthansa spokesman Klaus Walther.
Germany’s Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO) labor union, which represents some two-thirds of Lufthansa’s 18,000 cabin crew members, called for eight hours of strikes in Frankfurt and Berlin and 11 hours in Munich.
The strike was called after the airline’s management and cabin crew union failed to reach an agreement over payments and other issues.
On Friday, Lufthansa flight attendants at Frankfurt airport staged a walk-out for eight hours, forcing the cancelation of many flights and leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
The union has been demanding a five-percent pay increase for the cabin crew for 15 months backdated to January 2012 after three years of zero increases, and an end to the use of temporary cabin staff on Lufthansa aircraft.
Lufthansa is Europe’s largest airline in terms of fleet size and the overall number of passengers it transports.