FRANKFURT AM MAIN, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 22nd Nov, 2016 ) - Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa said it would cancel nearly 900 flights on Wednesday because of a strike by pilots, causing travel disruptions for tens of thousands of passengers in the latest escalation of a long-simmering pay dispute. The 24-hour stoppage, called by the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit, will start at midnight and affect Lufthansa flights at airports across Germany.
Out of the roughly 3,000 planned short- and long-haul flights, 876 will be cancelled due to the strike, "affecting some 100,000 passengers", Lufthansa said in a statement Tuesday. It will be the union's 14th strike since April 2014. Meanwhile a separate walkout by cabin crew at Lufthansa's low-cost airline Eurowings led to the cancellation of more than 60 flights at airports in Hamburg and Duesseldorf on Tuesday. The industrial action was called by Germany's biggest Services union Verdi in a row over pay and working conditions.
The stoppage began at 0400 GMT and was due to end at 1900 GMT. The Lufthansa pilots going on strike Wednesday are demanding a pay rise of an average of 3.66 percent per year, retroactive for the past five years. The union says pilots have endured a wage freeze over that time and suffered a "significant loss of purchasing power" due to inflation, while Lufthansa has made billions in profits. It had offered a 2.5 percent wage hike.