Thursday, April 3, 2014

Travelore Update: Reduced Lufthansa Flight Timetable During Strike. Return to Normal Operations In Asia Begins Friday Evening, April 4th

By taking early precautions and providing customers with as much information as possible, Lufthansa has so far managed to mitigate the effects on passengers of the strike by the pilots’ union, Vereinigung Cockpit. Before the strike began, Lufthansa cancelled 3,800 flights. The situation at airports is very quiet. Around 425,000 passengers will have been affected by the industrial action. The impact on earnings will come to a medium double-digit million figure.

 Lufthansa’s significantly scaled back flight operations are on schedule, with the number of flights cut by around 90 percent. Thanks to the prompt planning of a stable minimum of operations, the remaining flights have so far taken place as planned. Lufthansa cancelled approximately 3,800 flights and is operating a remainder of some 500 connections. The impact on earnings will come to a medium double-digit million figure.

The situation is very quiet at all airports in Germany – including the major hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. About 20,000 customers were able to take the train instead, and Lufthansa switched others to the remaining members of the airline group, Star Alliance airlines or external carriers. More than 25,000 tickets were rebooked on Although the capacity of the call centers was extended as much as possible, it was not possible to avoid long waiting times. On normal days, the Lufthansa call centers receive between 4,000 and 5,000 calls from customers. On Tuesday, there were 80,000, and yesterday, Wednesday, the figure was 25,000.

“We have prepared for this in the best possible way and significantly increased capacities at our call centers in advance so as to assist our customers with rebooking flights. Unfortunately, with such extremely high call volumes, in some cases, long waiting times cannot be avoided. We would like to apologize to our customers for this,” said Jens Bischof, Chief Commercial Officer, Lufthansa German Airlines. “We aim to be a competent partner, even in these exceptional circumstances. We will continue to devote all our efforts to finding alternative travel arrangements for every passenger.”

In the course of Friday afternoon CET, preparations will begin in Asia for resuming flight operations with intercontinental aircraft. The first flights will take off at 5 p.m. CET from East Asia and will arrive in Europe early on Saturday morning. Flight operations at both Lufthansa and Germanwings should be back to schedule on Saturday. There may still be some irregularities due to operational reasons. This very swift return to normal operations is possible because, for the duration of the strike, the aircraft and crews have been stationed where operations are to resume upon conclusion of the strike.

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