Lufthansa strike hitting 100k travellers rolls into Thursday

Lufthansa said it would cancel nearly 900 flights on Wednesday because of a strike by pilots, causing travel disruption for an estimated 100,000 passengers in the latest escalation of a long-simmering pay dispute.

The stoppage, called by the pilots’ union Cockpit, would start at midnight and affect Lufthansa flights at airports across Germany.

Out of its roughly 3,000 scheduled flights, 876 would be cancelled due to the strike, “affecting some 100,000 passengers”, Lufthansa said in a statement.

Cockpit had initially called for a 24-hour stoppage but said late on Tuesday that the strike would continue into Thursday for both long- and short-haul flights leaving Germany.

Lufthansa had attempted to stop the strike by filing for an interim injunction, but a court for the state of Hesse rejected the injunction.

It is the union’s 14th strike since April 2014.

The hashtag #lufthansastreik (Lufthansa strike) was the top trending term in Germany on Twitter as of Wednesday morning. 

Others were more sympathetic with the pilots.

“And everyone is like ‘mimimi, I can’t understand it’,” wrote one woman from Dresden. “Whoever is able to strike should strike. To each their own rights.”

The Lufthansa pilots going on strike 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.

The airline had offered a 2.5 percent wage hike.

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