There seems to be no respite for Lufthansa. The German airline had to cancel around 180 flights on Monday owing to a strike by the cabin crew of its budget airlines Germanwings. The strike is in a bid to pressurize the airline's management in initiating talks for a pay rise and better working conditions.
This is the second strike by the company's cabin crew with a month. Last month the German carrier had to cancel as many as 1,300 flights departing from and arriving into Germany after its cabin crew staged a 48-hour strike.
Lufthansa once again in trouble
In November three labor unions, led by Ufo, staged a strike demanding for a wage revision of the cabin crew. The same union once again staged a similar strike on Monday. Germanwings operates on behalf of Lufthansa's Eurowings brand. Ufo on Friday had said that it will stage a two-day strike starting Monday, as there hasn't been much progress in talks since the last strike.
The first day of the strike saw around 15% of the flights of Germanwings being cancelled by the airline operator. "First 35 flights were canceled, then 54, now 170, meaning that Germanwings will only manage 7% of its original flight operations today," a spokesman for Ufo said, speaking at the Cologne-Bonn airport, according to Reuters.
More flights likely to be cancelled
Per the Eurowings website, most of the cancelled flights were domestic. There were also many passengers who said that although they understand and respect the demands of the employees, they felt that the timing of the strike may not be right as it's the middle of the holiday season and traffic is already high.
More than 22,000 cabin employees have been demanding for a pay raise and better work conditions among other issues. Ufo had staged a similar strike in early November. Lufthansa at that time in a last bid effort made an urgent application in a German court to avoid the strike. However, the court ruled in favor of the union and the cabin crew saying that such a strike was "not unlawful".
However, post the strike talks were initiated but not much has been achieved yet. With the strike likely to go into the second day, it is expected that Lufthansa will have to cancel a large number of flights again.