Lufthansa strike today threatens weekend travel

Short- and medium-haul flights from Frankfurt to be hit

Widespread disruption to weekend travel plans across Europe is likely if Germany’s Vereinigung Cockpit union goes ahead with a six-hour strike later today.

Following a walkout at LH low-cost unit Germanwings last week, the union’s members working for Lufthansa say that flights to German and European destinations from Lufthansa’s main hub Frankfurt will stop from 17:00 to 23:00 local time.

The union wants Lufthansa to bring back a benefit allowing pilots to opt for early retirement on partial pay at the age 60. Lufthansa wants all pilots who are medically fit to fly until they are 65. The pilots are also demanding a 10% pay rise.

The union says short-haul and medium-haul flights on Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and Embraer aircraft will in particular be hit. It does not mention long-haul flights.

“Vereinigung Cockpit declares that it is ready at any time to reach an agreement to avert the strike,” the statement reads. “We regret any inconvenience to Lufthansa customers.”

AFP, dpa

[pictured: Munich Airport; photo courtesy Lufthansa]

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