Pilots at Lufthansa’s leisure carrier Discover vote to strike following ballot 

Discover Airlines

Pilots employed by the German leisure airline Discover Airlines have voted in favor of strike action following a ballot of its members organized by the carrier’s pilot union.  

On January 23, 2024, German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) announced that a clear majority of its members (95%) had voted in favor of industrial action strikes at Lufthansa’s leisure subsidiary airline, to exert additional pressure in negotiations with the Lufthansa Group to reach an agreement over a long-running pay dispute. 

Discover Airlines, originally formed as Eurowings Discover in 2021 and rebranded as Discover Airlines in September 2023, is the Lufthansa Group’s leisure-focused airline. Its task within the group is flying passengers to holiday and leisure destinations, both within Europe and further afield, from its main hubs at Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) airports. 

“The ballot is a clear signal to the employer to stop clinging to preconditions and instead to finally submit an offer that we believe is negotiable to enable a return to the negotiating table,” said a Vereinigung Cockpit spokesperson. 

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The union added that internal pilot committees within VC would now discuss the next moves in terms of organizing the strike action. 

“We regret that VC broke off talks and its decision to escalate further instead of returning to the negotiating table,” said Discover. “Discover Airlines’ offer to continue the talks for a first collective agreement still stands.”  

Discover pilots who are members of the VC union previously held a five-hour strike on December 23, 2023, ahead of the main Christmas getaway. The walkout affected 16 flights planned for the period, according to a spokesperson for the airline. 

The union and the airline remain locked in an ongoing dispute over salaries and working conditions. The December 2023 strike came about following a breakdown in talks between the parties despite a potential deal seemingly imminent. At the time, VC representatives spoke out against Discover’s management for using stalling tactics and negotiating in bad faith. It alleges the airline management withdrew previous offers and changed conditions with little notice to the union leaders. 

Discover currently employs around 400 pilots and operates a fleet of 24 aircraft. This includes 12 Airbus A320s, two A330-200s, and 10 A330-300s.  

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