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Lufthansa ground staff ends strike, European transfers affected

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0e6a392fc1c6218345acc419f60fce63_b1c048a8beb6c88be4120379104f21cbc9036e1b.gifDeutsche Lufthansa's ground staff are reported to have gone on strike to demand pay rises, forcing the airline to cancel thousands of its flights at Frankfurt and Munich airports, with many cargoes expected to be delayed.




The strike action is the latest setback for European airports. Airlines have proactively cancelled or rescheduled passenger and cargo flights for less busy times to help deal with congestion caused by overcrowded and understaffed aviation systems.




Lufthansa said it had to cancel 32 flights at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday and 646 on Wednesday, as well as 345 at Munich Airport, affecting 132,000 passengers and reducing belly capacity.




Lufthansa spokesperson Jacqueline Casini said: “We are closely monitoring the situation and taking steps to maintain cargo operations for our customers in the best possible way. We are in close communication with all parties involved to avoid cargo delays or flight cancellations. It is difficult to estimate how many Lufthansa Cargo ground staff will respond to the call to strike."




Ground crew strikes, Lufthansa cancels thousands of flights! Shipping will be delayed




In a notice to customers, Lufthansa Cargo said its freighters are expected to operate as scheduled during the strike if operational adjustments are not required in a short period of time. The cargo department said no live animals, ornamental fish, worms or larvae were accepted at Munich airport on Wednesday and Thursday.




Casini said belly cargo booked during the strike would be rebooked. Lufthansa warned that the impact of the strike could result in the cancellation or delay of individual flights on Thursday and Friday.




The strike occurred during Germany's peak holiday season. Last month, the Ver.di union demanded a 9.5 percent pay rise for some 20,000 employees, or at least 350 euros ($357) a month for 12 months. These workers are being squeezed by inflation and overworked by shortages at airports, Ver.di said.




Lufthansa is offering an additional base salary of $152 a month from July 1 and an additional $101 a month from January next year, plus a 2% pay rise from July 2023, depending on the the company's financial performance. The airline also said it wants to focus on workers in lower-paid positions and will raise the minimum wage to $13.22 an hour from Oct. 1.




But Ver.di rejected the proposal, saying it would not be enough to offset soaring inflation. Inflation in Germany hit 8.2% in June. Ver.di and Lufthansa have held two rounds of wage negotiations, with the third set to take place on August 3 and 4.




Company officials have criticized union Ver.di for going on strike after just two days of negotiations in the face of a potential recession, while the airline is still struggling to recover from the Covid-19 crisis that has left it with high debt.




Ground crew strikes, Lufthansa cancels thousands of flights! Shipping will be delayed




Airlines and service providers in Europe and the U.S. have been unable to quickly re-hire staff to deal with the surge in travel demand, exacerbated by infrastructure constraints. Operations at Frankfurt Airport were also slowed by many employees calling in sick. Some European airports have temporarily imposed daily flight caps to minimise last-minute cancellations.




Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, last week reduced the number of aircraft movements to 88 per hour to stabilize flight operations.




David Emerson, senior vice president of e-commerce at North American freight giant Seko Logistics, said in a media briefing on the state of the supply chain that mass flight cancellations have had a knock-on effect on cargo, as there is too much backlog in passenger planes. Inside the belly.




Logistics providers say ground crews at major airports are facing massive cargo backlogs at their terminals, with deliveries delayed by one to two days to customers and trucks waiting up to 10 hours.




Traffic congestion has been a drag on European air cargo volumes for most of the year. Shipping demand is down slightly from last year's peak, but shipping delays have caused delays in aircraft loading, resulting in a drop in cargo volumes.