Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa has grounded half of its scheduled flights due to a 24-hour strike by its cabin crew over pay and working conditions. “On average, there are 1,800 Lufthansa flights during a normal day. Around half of these flights will take place,” a Lufthansa spokesperson, whose name was not mentioned in the report, said on Friday. “All German regions and all types of flights are affected,” the spokesman stated, adding that the stoppage will also include long-haul flights, which were not affected by the previous strikes. He also said that Frankfurt’s Airport, which is Europe’s third largest and the airline’s major hub was the “most affected” by the walkout, which began at midnight (2200 GMT).
The strike is expected to disrupt many flights and strand thousands of people in the country’s six major airports of Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart.Lufthansa’s spokesman said at least 13 flights would also be canceled on Saturday. Lufthansa released a statement on Friday, saying that the labor action, which started at midnight (2200 GMT), went ahead as planned, AFP reported. Germany's top airline had cancelled around 50 flights Thursday ahead of the planned walkout by cabin staff at the country’s major airports. Friday’s walkout follows two similar moves over the past week, which disrupted flights and stranded thousands in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. Lufthansa says the dispute has already cost the company millions of euros. The UFO has demanded a five-percent pay increase and guarantees that jobs will not be outsourced to temporary workers. However, Lufthansa has offered a pay increase of 3.5 percent in exchange for longer hours. MN/SAB/AZ