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Strike forces SAS and Lufthansa to cancel flights

Lufthansa is forced to axe more than 800 flights today, while SAS cancels its flights to Germany.

SAS has cancelled its flights today between Scandinavia and airports in Germany because of airport strikes there, while Lufthansa has been forced to cancel over half of all of its flights.

Airport ground crew and firefighters are among the public sector workers who are striking on Tuesday between 05:00 and 18:00, grounding huge numbers of flights at airports such as Frankfurt and Munich.

The websites for the airports Copenhagen, Stockholm Arlanda, Gothenburg and Oslo Gardermoen show SAS’s departures to German cities today as cancelled, The Local reports.

Lufthansa, meanwhile, has axed more than 800 of its 1,600 flights scheduled for today, including 58 long-haul flights, affecting around 90,000 passengers. The airline says that services will return to normal on Wednesday.

Frankfurt, Germany’s largest airport, warns on its website of “significant delays and cancellations” affecting many airlines, advising passengers to check with their carriers before leaving for the airport.

Warning strike
The union Verdi is calling this a “warning strike”, which will also hit Cologne and Bremen airports, as well as local transport and services. Public sector workers must have “a share in the good economic performance” in Germany, the union insists.

“It’s totally unacceptable that the union is waging this conflict on the backs of uninvolved passengers,” Lufthansa’s human resources chief Bettina Volkens said, according to the news agency AFP.

The airline has managed to halt conflicts with its own pilots and cabin crew, but it can do nothing about public sector staff.

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