Germany - Strike 10-13 April

10 Apr 2018

German flag carrier Lufthansa (LH) and its subsidiaries will cancel more than 50 percent of their flights scheduled for April 10 as public sector workers nationwide go on strike. LH plans to cancel over 800 flights, including 58 long-distance routes, for April 10. The strike has the potential to affect more than 90,000 travelers. Flights departing from Frankfurt (FRA), Cologne (CGN), Bremen (BRE), and Munich (MUC) are likely to be the most affected. Airline authorities claim that flight operations will normalize by April 11. The carrier will notify travelers whose flights are canceled and will automatically rebook flights free of charge. In accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004, travelers affected by flight delays up to more than five hours are entitled to a refund of the ticket within seven days. 

Public sector workers with the United Services Trade Union (Verdi) will hold a series of strikes across Germany April 10-13 ahead of government negotiations slated to begin April 15. Participation in the strikes will probably vary, but the actions are likely to impact government services, including public ground transport, throughout the country. Demonstrations are possible and may lead to localized traffic congestion in major cities. 

Unionized airport ground staff plan to join the labor action on April 10. Workers intend to strike beginning at 0500 at airports in Bremen (BRE), Cologne (CGN), Frankfurt (FRA), and Munich (MUC). The strike duration will vary by airport, with the labor action slated to end at FRA around 1800 and at 2359 at MUC. Baggage and cargo handlers, ground staff, and security staff are expected to participate in the work stoppage. 

Expect significant flight disruptions; airport operators have asked airlines to reduce flights by as much as 50 percent. Major delays are possible if flights go forward. Airlines often prioritize scheduled long-haul international flights during labor actions; disruptions will likely be most pronounced on short-haul and domestic flights. Expect follow-on disruptions at some airports elsewhere in the country. As Verdi is holding nationwide actions through April 13, a continuation of the strike at airports cannot be ruled out. Regardless, lingering delays are likely at affected airports once flight operations resume, particularly at FRA and MUC. 


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