German airline unions go on strike, throw schedules off gear

Published on : Wednesday, April 27, 2016

aeroplaneGerman airline companies are in a soup. A mass strike by German labor union Verdi is causing hundreds of cancellations and delays of flights to/from and through Germany, with German airline Lufthansa cancelling at least 900 flights, or about 60% of its overall flight schedule.

Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, canceled all its domestic flights within Germany at Cologne/Bonn (through the morning) and Munich (all day) and diverted most intercontinental flights to Munich via Nuremberg.

The strike was called for six airports — Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, and two other German airports, Dortmund and Hannover — and is affecting at least 80,000 passengers, Deutsche Welle reports.

In an alert on its website today, Munich Airport is advising travelers that about two-thirds of all arriving and departing flights have been canceled. A similar alert, advising passengers of “major disruptions and flight cancellations” is also posted on the Frankfurt Airport website.

Airlines, including U.S. carriers such as United, are offering change-fee waivers for travelers whose flights are canceled or delayed by the work stoppage today.

The strike is being honored by other public service workers in Germany and by approximately 80 UPS pilots represented by the Independent Pilots Association working in Cologne, Germany.

The strike was scheduled to be over by the mid-afternoon in Germany, but travelers should expect additional delays and cancellations as airlines attempt to return schedules to normal and prepare to deal with a scheduled strike Thursday of air traffic controllers in France.

American Airlines has posted an alert offering to waive fees for travel changes for passengers holding tickets for flights to/from or through Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on April 28.

On its website, Air Berlin is warning travellers to expect delays on Thursday to and from France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and the Canary Islands due to a planned strike by French traffic controllers. Air France says it plans to operate its long-haul flights, all its flights to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and 80% of its domestic flights to and from Paris–Orly, but warns passengers that updates are “on-going” and that “last minute delays and cancellations can also be expected.”


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