by Devesh Agarwal
German carrier Deutsche Lufthansa underwent an almost total shut-down when its ground crew went on strike early Monday over working conditions, causing the cancellation of almost all of the airline’s flights.
In a statement on its website, the carrier said “nearly all Lufthansa flights within Germany and Europe will be cancelled” and “massive flight cancellations and delays are to be expected for long-haul flights”. The airline indicates that only about 32 of a total planned 1,720 flights are expected to operate.
The 24 hour strike, which was announced in advance, started around 04:00 CET (02:00 UTC) in Stuttgart and an hour later in other airports around Germany. This is the second wave of strikes by the Ver.di union over wages and working conditions for about 33,000 employees. In the first strike action about a month back, over 700 flights were affected.
One has to feel sorry, at least in part, for the European carriers. They are just about coping with the ferocious competition from global carriers, and now they face industrial action.