Inside Logistics

Lufthansa estimates losses in pilots’ strike

Profits likely to drop by "tens of millions" of Euros

April 3, 2014
by MM&D Online Staff

Toronto, ON—Due to the strike by the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings canceled approximately 3,800 flights on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (April 2–4). During the three-day walkout of the cockpit crew, only about 500 Lufthansa short and long haul flights will be operated.

For the three strike days, 23 of 31 planned Lufthansa Cargo flights from Frankfurt have already been canceled.

Flight cancellations on such a massive scale will affect a total of 425,000 passengers. Lufthansa will inform all passengers who have registered their contact details in their booking or in their Miles & More profile about flight changes via text message and email. Most of the remaining domestic and European flights will be flown by the daughter companies, Eurowings and Lufthansa Cityline, whose pilots are not participating in the walkout.

The pilots of the daughter companies, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine and Air Dolomiti, as well as the pilots of Brussels Airlines, will not participate in the strike. Where possible, these companies will use larger planes on routes from and to Germany in order to bring as many rebooked Lufthansa passengers as possible to their destinations.

“I greatly regret that the Vereinigung Cockpit is not prepared to settle this by negotiations and to find a solution without engaging in a labor dispute. We made good offers for an improved salary as well as a future provision for early leave from flight service,” said Dr. Bettina Volkens, Member of the Executive Board Legal and Personnel of the Lufthansa Group.

“Based on this, it is difficult to understand that the VC union is calling for a three-day strike right away – both for our customers and the more than one hundred thousand colleagues of the other Lufthansa employee groups. We will do our best to care for our customers during the strike. I want to thank in advance all employees that will go above and beyond what is normal and give their best for our customers and for the Company,” Volkens added.

In total, a three-day pilot strike would alone, for Lufthansa German Airlines, have a negative impact on profit in the range of tens of millions of euros. The announcement has already caused significant damages since passengers have already re-booked flights and logistics customers have made arrangements with other cargo airlines to secure the transport of their goods.