Well, it looks like no end is in sight for Lufthansa’s pilot strike.
Initially Lufthansa’s pilots union announced a one day strike, which was supposed to take place on Wednesday. Then it was extended until Thursday. Then the union announced a strike for Lufthansa’s short-haul flights for Friday (today)… and it’s still not over.
Lufthansa’s pilot strike has now been extended through Saturday, November 26, 2016, and this time around it will impact longhaul routes from Germany.
— Vereinigung Cockpit (@vcockpit) November 24, 2016
If you look at Lufthansa’s flight status page you’ll notice that a majority of longhaul flights have already been canceled for Saturday.
The strike is apparently costing Lufthansa about 10 million dollars a day.
So, what exactly do the pilots want? Per Fortune:
Lufthansa has called on the pilots to enter mediation, which has been rejected by their union because it is first seeking a better offer from management as a basis for talks.
The union wants an average annual pay increase of 3.7% for 5,400 pilots in Germany over a five-year period from 2012. Lufthansa has offered 2.5% over the six years to 2019.
“We want the union to return to the negotiating table. Our door is wide open,” a Lufthansa spokesman said on Wednesday.
So Lufthansa pilots want a retroactive pay increase dating back to 2012. Lufthansa’s management wants to continue negotiations, but the union is refusing to sit down with management until they come in with a better starting offer.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t studied the situation between Lufthansa’s pilot union and management enough to have a full understanding of the situation. However, it’s really regrettable that this is how their negotiations are playing out. This has lost the airline an estimated $40 million based on the strikes so far, and hundreds of thousands of passengers have been inconvenienced.
You also have to wonder when this strike will finally stop. It seems unlikely that the union will just call it quits after four days without having accomplished anything. I guess we’ll find out if either side budges…
In the meantime, if you’re scheduled to fly Lufthansa in the next several days, I’d certainly make backup plans.