Germany’s flag carrier Deutsche Lufthansa (Lufthansa) cancelled 800 flights on 2 September 2022 at its hubs in Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC) airports after the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) announced a one-day strike.

This 24-hour boycott of operations was called by the VC union after pay talks with Lufthansa failed.

The cancellation of flights is estimated to impact the travel plans of around 130,000 passengers, creating disruption at the end of holidays in some European countries.

The airline noted that the pilot strike would affect Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo departures at German airports.

Lufthansa chief human resources officer and labour director Michael Niggemann said: “We cannot understand VC’s call for a strike.

“The management has made a very good and socially balanced offer – despite the continuing burdens of the Covid crisis and uncertain prospects for the global economy. This escalation comes at the expense of many thousands of customers.”

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By GlobalData

Lufthansa Group offered a package under which pilots at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo would receive a total of €900 more in basic pay a month in two stages.

Under the package, an entry-level co-pilot is set to secure over 18% additional basic pay over the agreement’s term, and a captain in the final stage would get 5%.

However, the VC union is calling for a 5.5% pay hike this year and additional compensation above inflation from next year.

According to the carrier, the demands would raise cockpit payroll costs by over 40% or nearly €900m from €2.2bn in the coming two years.

Eurowings and Eurowings Discover flights are not hit by the walkout and will run as per the schedule.

In July, the ground staff of Lufthansa went on a one-day strike over wages, affecting operations at Frankfurt/Main, Düsseldorf (DUS), Berlin (BER), Cologne (CGN), Hamburg (HAM) and Munich airports.