Germanwings pilots hit Lufthansa with strike

Around 120 flights cancelled in this morning’s action

A six-hour strike this morning by pilots at Lufthansa’s low-cost unit Germanwings has disrupted travel for thousands of people returning from summer holidays. Around 116 flights have been cancelled during the strike, which runs between 06:00 to 12:00 CET, affecting 15,000 passengers.

The cancellations represent around 70% of Germanwings’ scheduled flights. The strike puts more pressure on Lufthansa’s management in their ongoing row over a pension scheme.

As previously reported, the argument between airline and pilots relates to provisions for an early retirement scheme that dates back 50 years. Lufthansa pilots work until the age of 55, eight years before the legal retirement age in Germany. But European courts have ruled they can work until the age of 65, while Lufthansa wants to scrap costly early retirement.

A three-day strike over the issue by Lufthansa pilots in April effectively grounded the airline, wiping €60 million off its first-half profit.

Meanwhile, the biggest pilot union at Air France has also called for a strike, from September 15 to September 22.

Reuters

[pictured: Germanwings’ new livery; photo by B767Muck/Wikipedia]

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