Monday, October 20, 2014

Travelore News: Lufthansa Publishes Flight Timetables For Vereinigung Strike For October 20th & 21st

·         Around half the flights planned from Munich during the strike period will take off as normal
·         A large number of short and medium-haul flights and nearly all long-haul flights from Frankfurt will have to be canceled on Tuesday
·         Special flight timetables should enable flight operations to return to plan once the strike is over

Following the announcement by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union that a strike will take place from October 20, 1.00 p.m. CEST until October 21, 11.59 p.m. CEST, Lufthansa has published a second special flight timetable on this morning. This supplements the first special flight plan published yesterday and includes other flights to and from Munich that will be operating in spite of the strike. Around half of all Lufthansa’s planned short, medium and long-haul flights from Munich are expected to take place during the strike period. The short and medium-haul flights will predominately be operated by Lufthansa’s regional subsidiary, CityLine, which is not affected by the strike. The special flight plan for Munich was also published this morning.

The Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union announced early this morning its intention to extend the strikes to long-haul connections on Tuesday and flight traffic will see much more severe disruption tomorrow as a result. On Tuesday, Lufthansa will have to cancel the majority of short and medium-haul flights to and from Frankfurt and suspend almost all long-haul traffic. The airline published a third special flight plan with information on flights to and from Frankfurt on its website this afternoon. Long-haul flights to and from Düsseldorf should operate on schedule despite the strike.

Lufthansa published a special flight plan for the first 24 hours of the strike yesterday. Its intention was to operate around 700 of the 2,150 flights planned for the strike period. The union’s surprising announcement this morning that the strike would be expanded,made it necessary to cancel other flights and update the flight timetables once again. By drawing up special flight plans, Lufthansa intends to ensure that scheduled operations can be resumed at all sites as soon as the strike comes to an end.

Simone Menne, Chief Officer Finances and Aviation Services at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, criticized the actions of the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union and said, “The strikes not only cause severe economic damage to Lufthansa, but they also harm its reputation, with considerable consequences for our company and employees that remain unforeseeable even today. Why the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union is blocking a solution to the collective bargaining conflict without compromise, is no longer comprehensible. This is despite the fact that all the other groups of employees have made a constructive contribution to Lufthansa’s success in the future. Our investors expect sustainable and competitive structures across all areas. This also applies to retirement and transitional benefits.”

Lufthansa will be concentrating today and tomorrow on informing and assisting the passengers affected by the strike. Passengers whose flights are canceled due to the strike have the option of rebooking or canceling the flight free of charge. Passengers who have booked a flight for October 20 or 21 that will not be canceled, can also rebook their ticket for free. Tickets for domestic German flights can also be exchanged for a train ticket at or at a Lufthansa Quick Check-In machine. Some 60,000 text messages and 30,000 emails have been sent to passengers who have provided their contact details, notifying them of changes to the flight timetable. The airline has already reserved 3,800 hotel rooms for passengers stranded because of the strike. Call center capacities have been maximized. Snacks, drinks and additional staff members will also be on hand to help passengers with re-bookings at the airports in Frankfurt and Munich.

Lufthansa employees are continuing to work around-the-clock, primarily to reroute transfer passengers via the hubs in Zurich, Vienna or Brussels, in order to get them to their destination on schedule despite the strike. Flights operated by the Lufthansa Group airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX, EN) will take place as planned during the strike. Lufthansa Cargo is also largely unaffected by the strike.

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