The first European air transport group Lufthansa will cancel, on Wednesday July 27, “almost all” of its flights in Germany due to a strike by its ground staff, the company announced in a press release in an already tense context. for European aviation.

More than 130,000 passengers on nearly a thousand flights departing from and arriving at the two main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich are concerned, specifies the German company, the day after the call for a strike by the Verdi union in the context of wage negotiations.

The services union on Monday announced a strike for the period from 3:45 a.m. (01:45 GMT) Wednesday to 6:00 a.m. Thursday (04:00 GMT) "to increase the pressure" on management, while he is calling for a 9.5% wage increase.

As of Tuesday, 47 canceled flights

This social movement will concern ground employees, particularly in maintenance, but also operators of aircraft towing vehicles, essential to the proper functioning of the airport, which means that it will have "a massive impact", according to the carrier. .

>> To read also: Summer chaos in perspective in European airports

Lufthansa must therefore cancel a total of 678 flights in Frankfurt and 345 in Munich, including 47 as of Tuesday for the two most important hubs in Germany.

"The impact of the strike may lead to occasional cancellations and delays on Thursday and Friday," the company said.

The social movement comes at the height of the travel season a few days before the start of the school holidays in two regions of southern Germany – when travelers have already been faced in recent weeks with long waits at airports and series of flight cancellations due to staff shortages.

Staff faced with increased traffic 

Since the lifting of health restrictions at the start of the year, airlines and airports have struggled to meet the sharply rising demand, after two years of sluggish traffic during which the sector lost many employees.

More than 7,000 employees are currently missing in the German airline sector, according to a study by the economic institute IW published at the end of June.

Lufthansa has already canceled some 6,000 flights this summer, while the first German airport in Frankfurt intends to reduce the schedule to "further stabilize the air operations" disrupted.

With AFP

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