Explained: Why has Lufthansa canceled over 1,000 flights on Wednesday?

German carrier Lufthansa Tuesday said it was cancelling almost all of its flights on Wednesday from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, on account of a union of its ground workers at these airports calling in a strike demanding better pay. The airline said over 1,000 of its flights from these hubs have been canceled, affecting more than 1,30,000 passengers.

Why is Lufthansa cancelling flights?

The airline is cancelling its flights because of a strike by its staff union Verdi. The union has been seeking better pay structures from its employer, and has had several rounds of discussions with the airline.

The airline canceled 678 flights from Frankfurt on Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to 345 flights being canceled from Munich.

An employee of Lufthansa waits for passengers besides the check-in counter at the deserted airport in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo / Matthias Schrader, File)

Have Indian flights also been canceled?

In India, Lufthansa operates from Frankfurt and Munich to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, and five flights to these destinations have been canceled by the airline. The return leg flights from these airports to Frankfurt or Munich for Wednesday have also been canceled, and will be operated on Thursday, after the strike concludes.

As the peak summer travel season sets in, destinations in Europe are bracing for an unanticipated travel load with both airlines and airport operators tussling to manage the traffic. While ports and airports are alerting passengers of potential delays in their travel plans, airlines are beginning to cancel flights at key destinations.

When the Covid-19 pandemic emerged two years ago and the aviation industry got hit severely, airlines and airports handed pink slips to workers to reduce costs as flights remained grounded for a long time. However, with the pandemic slowly receding, people have started traveling But the airport staff wasn’t hired in line with the growing traffic.

This, in addition to several airport and security worker unions at European airports going on a strike seeking better pay, has led to a severe shortage of labor, causing disruptions in flight operations.

Lufthansa, Lufthansa flights, Lufthansa flight cancellation, Lufthansa strike, Lufthansa news, Indian Express Passengers queue at the check in counters at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, July 25, 2022. (AP Photo / Michael Probst)

Which other airports have been affected?

These issues have emerged at some of the top European airport hubs, including London’s Heathrow, Amsterdam’s Schiphol, Brussels airport, Frankfurt airport, and several others. The most visible problem is that of delayed baggage. not being loaded into aircraft on time, and several flights are departing without carrying their passengers’ luggage.

In addition to this, airports are witnessing long queues that are causing passengers to miss their flights.

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