Lufthansa Strike: The Four-Day Pilot's Walkout
Lufthansa strike: the four-day pilot's walkout. German airline Lufthansa has said that its services are now more or less back to normal after a four-day walkout by pilots. However, Germany's largest airline pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit have warned of further disruptions over the Easter break early next month. Most of short and medium haul flights were back to normal on Sunday, but some of the long-haul flights are still not operating. "There's been no movement so far," a spokesman for the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit said. He refused to rule out further stoppages at just 24 hours' notice.
This week's strikes began on March 18 over a prolonged conflict about early retirement allowances for around 5,400 pilots. In the first place, Vereinigung Cockpit had called for a 24-hour walkout last Wednesday, but later extended the industrial action over four days. Lufthansa canceled 700 out of 1,400 short- and medium-haul flights, affecting 84,000 passengers on Friday. On Thursday, Lufthansa said it canceled about half—43 out of 85—scheduled long-haul flights. They also informed cancelling 74 of its 160 planned long haul flights on Saturday.
After all, around 220,000 passengers gave been hit by the pilot's walkout. It has been the 12th and longest intermission since the pilots began their actions last April. Lufthansa plans to refuse an earlier arrangement under which its pilots were entitled to early retirement at age 55 in attention of the health dangers of their job, and would then continue to accept 60 percent of their regular pay until the legal retirement age of 65. Launched in April last year, the pilots' industrial action has so far cost Lufthansa about 220 million euros ($233.3 million).
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