Deutsche Lufthansa cancelled hundreds of flights, impacting 100,000 passengers, as flight attendants began a three-day strike in a hardening labor dispute that has already led to a record series of walkouts by cabin crew.
The airline early Wednesday lost a court bid to stop the strike at its main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, forcing the German carrier to drop 931 flights. A separate court will decide Wednesday afternoon whether the UFO cabin crew union can also walk off the job in Dusseldorf, a secondary airport for the airline, after a judge prohibited flight attendants from striking in that city on Tuesday.
“We must push for solving our labor issues for as long as it takes,” Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr told reporters at an event in Frankfurt. “I cannot compromise on solving these issues. There is no alternative. The world is changing.”
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Flight attendants and pilots are fighting Spohr’s efforts to overhaul Lufthansa and develop the Eurowings division into a low-cost arm to compete with rivals such as Ryanair Holdings and EasyJet. Spohr has stuck with that strategy even as mainline brand employees have resisted, viewing the potential gains as being worth the immediate hit. Ruxandra Haradau-Doeser, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, estimates the financial impact of the current cabin crew strikes, which began last week, at about €100 million.
News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland