Lufthansa and its pilots’ union have agreed to a last-minute compensation deal after the union threatened a two-day strike this week on Wednesday and Thursday, according to Reuters.
Travellers will breathe a great sigh of relief – last Friday, Germany’s flag-carrier was forced to cancel roughly 800 flights due to a one-day strike that was held, a disruptive situation that reportedly affected some 130,000 passengers.
Passenger plane pilots originally had planned strike on Wednesday and Thursday, and cargo pilots from Wednesday through Friday, according to the union, which groups more than 5,000 pilots.
According to Reuters, the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots' union has agreed to a comprehensive package of monetary and structural issues which would be ironed out in the next few days.
"We are pleased that a result was reached at the negotiating table and that further disruption for customers, employees and companies could be avoided," stated Marcel Groels, responsible for the union's collective bargaining policy.
The union had demanded a retroactive pay rise of 5.5 per cent from July 1 as well as a pay increase of 8.2 per cent in 2023 in response to inflation.
According to reports, it appears Lufthansa was caught off guard by the possible strike action.
“We lack any understanding for this course of action,” said Michael Niggemann, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labour Director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, in a statement, as reported by Forbes.
As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Germany, none of Lufthansa’s flights for Wednesday and Thursday had been cancelled, according to FlightAware.
"We are pleased we were able to reach a solution in constructive talks with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots' union," Lufthansa said in a statement, without sharing any additional details.