(CNN) — More than 1,000 Lufthansa flights have been canceled so far due to this week’s strike action, with more than 130,000 passengers affected.
The German airline announced yesterday that it would cancel almost all of its German-based flights in Germany on Wednesday.
Given that a strike by ground staff from the Ver.di union would have “a massive operational impact in the middle of the peak season”, the airline said it “will have to cancel almost the entire flight schedule at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs until Wednesday.”
With the summer holiday season underway, the airline said it was already working under high pressure to restore routes for this weekend, following earlier strikes. Wednesday̵[ads1]7;s strike could still lead to individual cancellations or delays on Thursday and Friday, Lufthansa warned.
At Frankfurt Airport, a total of 678 flights will be cancelled, 32 of them on Tuesday and 646 on Wednesday, according to Lufthansa. An estimated 92,000 passengers will be affected.
At the Munich hub, a total of 345 flights are set to be cancelled, including 15 on Tuesday and 330 on Wednesday. An estimated 42,000 passengers will be affected, Lufthansa said.
Cancellations include some international flights from Bangkok, Singapore, New York, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and New Delhi.
Lufthansa, which is Germany’s flag carrier, added that rebooking capacity for passengers affected by cancellations is very limited.
The Ver.di union is demanding a 9.5% pay rise for Lufthansa ground staff, with a minimum increase of €350 ($368) per month for 12 months. Staff are overworked due to significant staffing shortages, high inflation and a three-year pay freeze, the union said.
Around 20,000 workers have been asked to take part in the Ver.di strike, including ground staff, counter staff and flight technicians.
Michael Niggemann, human resources chief and director of labor at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, told reporters on Tuesday that the strikes were “causing enormous damage.”
Lufthansa had offered “very significant pay rises over the next 12 months”, he said, adding that the strike was “simply no longer proportionate”.
Lufthansa’s head of media relations Martin Leutke told reporters on Wednesday that the “massive strike on the backs of customers is not understandable and not justified” after going through two rounds of negotiations with the company.
He said the company is trying to rebook travelers on the best possible alternative routes and advised customers who do not have confirmed flights on Wednesday not to come to the airport, saying “resources are tight here and we can probably help better digitally than here at the airport .”
The strike started at 3:45 a.m. local time (9:45 p.m. ET) Wednesday and will end at 6 a.m. local time (midnight ET) Thursday, the union said in a statement.
Top photo: Empty check-in counters for Deutsche Lufthansa AG at Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, April 24. June 2022. (Alex Kraus/Bloomberg/Getty Images)