“Disastrous” Lufthansa strike may cost €75mn

Most flights operated normally over the weekend

Lufthansa says that the three-day strike by pilots last week could cost it up to €75 million. Around 3,800 flights were axed during the Wednesday-to-Friday strike period, effectively grounding the airline. Most flights operated normally over the weekend.

“A definite calculation will take several days,” said Kay Kratky, Lufthansa’s chief operating officer. “We estimate it at between €35 million and €75 million. The consequences are disastrous.”

Seven strikes have hit German airlines and airports in the last 12 months and customers will now think twice about flying with a German company, Kratky added.

The pilots’ union that instigated last week’s strike has faced an avalanche of criticism in Germany over a rigid demand to keep an early retirement scheme. However, it now says it is ready to restart talks at any time.

Lufthansa has turned to social media to apologise to customers – CEO Christoph Franz via YouTube and passenger airlines unit CCO Jens Bischof via Facebook. “I can only apologise for the inconvenience,” Franz said. “Please stay loyal.”


[pictured: Munich Airport; photo courtesy Lufthansa]


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