Lufthansa strike: Nine in 10 flights grounded due to walkout

More than 100,000 passengers due to be affected by protest action over pay

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German airline Lufthansa has been hit by a walkout by ground staff at seven major German airports, with only one in 10 flights set to take-off on Tuesday.

More than 100,000 passengers will be affected by the protest action called by the union, which is due to run until 7am on Wednesday.

It is the second strike by Lufthansa ground staff this month. Pay negotiations are set to continue on Wednesday.

Lufthansa said it could only run 10 per cent of scheduled flights at the affected airports, including the country's biggest in Frankfurt, as well as Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Stuttgart.

Only those whose flights had not been cancelled should travel to the airport, with customer service severely limited at airports, the airline warned.

"If Lufthansa does not realise that it now has to take a big step towards us, then longer strikes will continue to be possible," said spokesman for the Verdi trade union, Marvin Reschinsky.

The airline's human resource chief Michael Niggemann criticised the union's decision to strike, saying the walkout would once again "put a disproportionate burden on our guests".

The first flights were cancelled on Monday evening.

Similar strike action this month led to more than 900 of 1,000 scheduled flights being cancelled, affecting about 100,000 passengers.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, has been hit with a number of nationwide strikes affecting air travel, railways and public transport, as workers demand greater pay in line with rising inflation.

Martin Pilo, who arrived from Singapore and was waiting for his luggage at Frankfurt's terminals on Tuesday, said: "The strikes in Germany are pretty annoying at the moment."

The latest strike at Lufthansa comes after the airline presented a new wage offer for 25,000 ground staff last week. Verdi described the offer as "blatantly antisocial".

The union is demanding a wage rise of 12.5 per cent or at least an additional €500 ($538.85) per month over a 12-month period, plus a one-time payment of €3,000 to offset inflation.

Updated: February 20, 2024, 1:14 PM