Lufthansa says will fly despite two-day pilots' strike

7th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

German airline Lufthansa said Tuesday it expected to go ahead with all planned flights by its freight subsidiary later this week despite a two-day strike by pilots.

"The good news for customers of Lufthansa Cargo is that the freight airline will carry out all planned flights during the strike period," the carrier said in a statement.

Two flights would be brought forward so that they would not be hit by the planned stoppage between 0100 GMT on Wednesday and 2030 GMT on Thursday, the statement said.

"In addition, around half of Lufthansa Cargo's freight is usually carried on passenger flights of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, so it will be possible to keep disruptions for customers to a minimum," the airline continued.

Late Monday, Lufthansa pilots called their fifth strike since the end of August, this time grounding freight flights in Germany over a dispute surrounding retirement benefits.

The union, Vereinigung Cockpit, accused management of "stubbornly maintaining" its retirement reform plans, leaving it with no choice but to launch new strikes.

Managers, however, said that they have "shown readiness to reach a compromise in discussions with Cockpit and had proposed new negotiations on the disputed questions".

"In these conditions, this new call for work stoppage is neither comprehensible nor reasonable," the management said in a statement.

Lufthansa pilots can currently take paid early retirement from the age of 55. They are fighting a plan by the airline to raise the minimum age and to involve pilots in the financing of their pensions.

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© 2014 AFP

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