German airline Lufthansa has said up to 113,000 passengers could be hit by over 900 flight cancellations tomorrow (9 November) in a walkout over pensions. Industrial action has forced the airline to cancel 929 flights from a number of German cities including Frankfurt, Duesseldorf and Munich.
Lufthansa and the Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO) are in a long-running dispute over retirement benefits. The planned walkout will take affect three days after industrial action began on Friday. Monday's strike will run from 3.30am GMT until 10pm GMT in Frankfurt and Duesseldorf and 11pm GMT in Munich.
Monday's industrial action is set to affect more than three times as many flights as a nine-hour walkout did on Friday, and almost double the 520 cancelled on Saturday. Members of the union are planning further strike action throughout the week at further airports in Germany.
The cancelled flights, both short and long haul, represent around a third of the groups 3,000 journeys, but subsidiary airlines such as Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, would not be affected. So far in 2015, striking Lufthansa pilots have cost the airline around 130 million euros.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG has called the strike "unprecedented in the history of Lufthansa" and believe they need to save money, as low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet eat into forecasted profits. If the seven-day strike action threatened by the unions goes ahead, it could cost the company 140 million euros.
The airline want to change the current system of early retirement allowing pilots to retire at 55 and receive up to 60 percent of their pay until they reach the statutory retirement age of 65. This is the latest move by the UFO in a long-running dispute which began two years ago. In2014 Lufthansa suffered 10 strikes losing an estimated 233 million euros.
An airline spokesman said: "Lufthansa will do its utmost to keep the effects of a strike to a minimum and to inform passengers as soon as possible. For that reason, Lufthansa requests all passengers early on to stay up-to-date by checking the flight status on LH.com. Lufthansa regrets any inconveniences caused by the strike."