Lufthansa Pilots to Stage 24-Hour Strike After Being Denied Pay Increase

Lufthansa will cancel 800 flights on Friday rather than provide a 5.5 percent pay increase to its 5,000 pilots.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled Lufthansa Pilots to Stage 24-Hour Strike After Being Denied Pay Increase
Photo: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP (Getty Images)

Lufthansa, one of Germany’s largest airlines, is canceling 800 flights, both commercial and cargo, on Friday due to a pilot strike, Reuters confirms. Pilots are being denied both a 5.5 percent pay increase and subsequent automatic inflation pay increases, resulting in a strike.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union stated that pay talks had not gone well and that its pilots would begin a strike starting after midnight on Thursday and lasting into Friday. VC wants its 5,000 pilots to have an increased pay raise for this year, followed by inflation adjustments afterward — and Lufthansa has adamantly rejected those pleas.

A Lufthansa spokesperson told Reuters that they “hope to get back to negotiations as soon as possible” but that the airline “cannot bear the cost increases associated with the VC’s demands.”


This isn’t even the first time a strike has grounded Lufthansa flights this summer, either. In July, over 1,000 flights were canceled when ground staff went on strike thanks to — you guessed it — stalled talks about money. Ground staff said they were overworked and had grown tired of the three-year wage freeze that had locked their pay. The ground staff very nearly had to walk out again in August, but Lufthansa finally reached a pay deal with them.

In this case, Lufthansa has countered the 5.5 wage increase offer. From Reuters:

Lufthansa has offered a total of 900 euros ($901.35) more in basic pay per month in two stages over an 18-month term as well as an agreement guaranteeing cockpit staff a minimum fleet size.


That, though, wasn’t enough. While I know I wouldn’t mind a little extra money in my pocket at the end of each month, I also know I’d prefer the comfort of knowing that, five years from now, my pay will reflect inflation increases.

The VC strike comes during a summer of staff shortages, strikes, and flight cancelations or delays around the world.