Lufthansa German Airlines: The best advice may be to find another air carrier

The airline industry as well as travel and tourism to Germany is forced to its knees again.

Lufthansa German Airlines: The best advice may be to find another air carrier

The airline industry as well as travel and tourism to Germany is forced to its knees again. A breakdown in talks with Lufthansa over retirement benefits saw the German pilots’ union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), call a strike for December 1 and 2.

Lufthansa has not issued any statements, but published the following information on its web portal.

“The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit has announced a strike for all Lufthansa short-haul and continental flights departing between 12.00 CEST on December 1st to 23.59 CEST on December 2nd, and for all intercontinental flights departing between 03:00 CEST to 23:59 CEST on December 2nd. During the strike period disruptions of Lufthansa flights are expected. Lufthansa is currently working intensely on a special timetable for the strike period. All flights operated by the Lufthansa Group airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX, EN) will not be affected.”

Flights of Lufthansa Cargo will also be affected during the same Tuesday hours as the strike on long-haul flights.

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It’s the latest in what has been repeated industrial action this year, centering on a long-running disagreement between VC and Lufthansa over retirement benefits. Lufthansa plans to gradually increase the age at which pilots can take early retirement.

Currently, pilots can retire at age 55 and receive up to 60 percent of their pay until the normal pension kicks in at the age of 65. The union wants this to continue for all pilots. Lufthansa is in the process of expanding its budget operations as it undergoes restructuring in the face of heavy competition from low-budget rival airlines.

The airline says eight previous walkouts this year by staff have cost it some 160 million euros ($200 million) from its operating profit.
Passengers within Germany have faced a year of disruptions due to strikes, with Deutsche Bahn rail services also affected. The latest walkout by train drivers happened last month during celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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