Lufthansa to initiate talks with cabin crew unions to avoid strike, gives alternate choice to passengers

The airline is offering passengers due to travel on Thursday and Friday a chance to rebook their travel for free


German airline major Lufthansa has agreed to initiate talks with three unions representing its cabin crew to avoid a possible two-day strike that may see hundreds of its flights getting ground from late Wednesday night. Earlier on Tuesday, the airline had filed a motion with a Frankfurt court to stop its cabin crews from going on the two-day strike. However, later in the day, the airline company decided to invite representatives from UFO, Verdi and CU to for talks on the ongoing wage dispute with its cabin crew.

Of the three unions, UFO has been having a long battle with Lufthansa over its legal recognition as a union. According to a statement by the company, Lufthansa's Chief Executive Carsten Spohr has invited the three unions to talk on the wage dispute at 6 pm (1700 GMT) on Wednesday evening. Spohr said that the solution can only lie in a dialogue, as the company is concerned about thousands of passengers and also its employees. Earlier on Monday, UFO had urged Lufthansa's cabin crew to go on a two-day strike starting 2300 GMT Wednesday.

This strike follows a similar 24-hour warning strike that UFO had staged on October 20 involving four smaller Lufthansa subsidiaries that saw quite a large number of flights getting cancelled. The airline's company's cabin crew has been long demanding a 1.8% hike in salaries but the company is yet to move forward with their demands. Lufthansa so long had been calling the strike completely illegal and was even mulling legal action. A 48-hour strike would mean all flights departing from and arriving to Germany getting either delayed by hours or getting cancelled. This would have seen thousands of passengers across Asia, Europe and U.S. getting stranded at different airports across the world.

Alternate plan

Given that even Lufthansa isn't sure if Wednesday's talks will lead to a solution, with the strike getting called off, the airline is looking for alternate means to help the thousands of passengers booked on its airlines on Thursday and Friday. The company has come up with a temporary solution offering passengers due to travel on Thursday and Friday a chance to rebook their travel for free. It is also working on to find out which flights will be affected by the strike. Once done, the airline will announce a special flight schedule for Thursday and Friday.