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Lufthansa cargo pilots strike, hundreds of flights cancelled

Lufthansa cargo pilots strike, hundreds of flights cancelled


Pilots at Lufthansa Airlines are reported to be planning a one-day strike on Friday that will also affect the company's cargo subsidiary and inconvenience businesses booked to transport cargo. A more serious threat for shippers and Lufthansa Cargo is future longer-lasting strikes that could disrupt supply chains, logistics experts said.

The German airline said it had cancelled 800 flights at Frankfurt and Munich airports on Friday and a handful on Thursday as the pilots' union announced a 24-hour strike over a pay dispute. "Lufthansa is working with the Joint Force to return its flight operations to normal as soon as possible. Nonetheless, the impact of the strike could result in the cancellation or delay of individual flights this Saturday and Sunday," the airline said in a press release. indicated in.

Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) is the association of German airline pilots and flight engineers representing the interests of approximately 9,600 cockpit crew members across all German airlines, including 5,000 crew members at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo. The pilots are asking for a 5.5 percent pay rise this year, with annual inflation adjustments. They had previously voted to approve the strike and last week rejected a proposal from Lufthansa management.

Lufthansa Cargo noted that the transit and export of FWN (tropical fish, worm and shrimp larvae) and FZN (animals, including reptiles, birds and eggs used for reproduction) was stopped at Frankfurt Airport on Friday and Saturday. It added: "Based on the extent of Lufthansa Cargo and Lufthansa's involvement in the strike, as well as the cancellation of related flights, the use of cargo and passenger aircraft belly holds will not be available on September 2 to transport cargo."

The strikes come at a time of strained air cargo capacity. Passenger traffic remains below pre-pandemic levels, with sanctions related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict pulling more than 20 large freighter planes off the market, while flights to Asia have become less efficient as Russia shuts down its airspace. "If the Lufthansa pilots go on strike, there will be a considerable impact on capacity," said Benno Forster, head of Americas airfreight and purchasing at German logistics provider DB Schenker.

Other airlines such as Air France/KLM, Iberia and Cargolux may absorb Lufthansa to transfer to Amsterdam, Paris, Luxembourg due to the relative ease of cross-border cargo in Europe Or part of the goods in Madrid. Capacity on transatlantic routes is better than on routes to Asia, as airlines have resumed many routes to meet strong summer airfreight demand.

Strikes and staff shortages have plagued Lufthansa and other European airlines this summer, forcing thousands of flight cancellations. In August, Lufthansa reached an agreement with ground staff on a new contract to prevent further strikes. Earlier, a 24-hour strike in July resulted in the cancellation of about 1,000 flights and related cargo delays.



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