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Lufthansa cancels over 1,300 flights as airport workers strike

<i>Leonhard Simon/Reuters</i><br/>Lufthansa suffers second setback in a week as airport strikes follow IT outage.
REUTERS
Leonhard Simon/Reuters
Lufthansa suffers second setback in a week as airport strikes follow IT outage.

By Chris Stern, Inke Kappeler and Olesya Dmitracova, CNN

Lufthansa has canceled more than 1,300 flights scheduled for Friday after the Verdi labor union called for full-day strikes involving airport workers at seven German airports, including Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg.

Lufthansa, one of Europe’s biggest airlines, was ceasing all flight operations at Frankfurt and Munich for Friday, it said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

“We regret the enormous impact of this warning strike, which is being carried out at the expense of our passengers,” Michael Niggemann, a member of the Lufthansa executive board, said in the statement. “We are not a party to the collective bargaining and have no influence on it — nevertheless, our guests and we are massively affected.”

In total, 2,340 flights have been canceled at affected airlines, disrupting journeys for more than 295,000 passengers, according to Germany’s airport association ADV.

Lufthansa is offering alternative connections and rebooking on rail services “where possible”, the airline said. It expects regular flight operations to be “largely back to normal” on Saturday, February 18.

The disruption comes only two days after a company-wide IT outage at Lufthansa led to a raft of flight cancellations and delays that stranded thousands of passengers in airports on Wednesday.

The Verdi union is demanding a raise of 10.5% for its members. Inflation stoked by high energy and food prices is eating into wages.

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