- Title: LUFTHANSA-STRIKES Lufthansa pilots on strike for fourth straight day
- Date: 21st March 2015
- Summary: FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY (MARCH 21, 2015) (REUTERS) LUFTHANSA AIRCRAFT ON TARMAC VIEW OF TARMAC VARIOUS OF LUFTHANSA AIRCRAFT ON TARMAC LUFTHANSA LOGOS ON AIRCRAFT PASSENGERS WALKING AT DEPARTURE LOUNGE DEPARTURE ELECTRONIC BOARD SHOWING FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS PASSENGERS DOING SELF-SERVICE CHECK-IN AT LUFTHANSA DESKS (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFFECTED PASSENGER, WOLFRAM BRUENING, SAYING: "It's getting a bit much. I think one should also take into consideration the company (Lufthansa), and that means, that sometimes it's enough." LUFTHANSA CATERING KIOSK (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFFECTED PASSENGER, MANFRED HELLBACH, SAYING: "Bad. I mean for the affected passengers, it is of course not good. But what can I say? I will fly with a different airline operator." DEPARTURE ELECTRONIC BOARD SHOWING FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFFECTED PASSENGER, TABO STAHLER, SAYING "I have mixed feelings. Of course one can demand for early retirement benefits but on the whole I think it's not a responsible thing to do, to have such high demands, in such negotiations. So I am rather against it." MONITOR SHOWING FLIGHT DEPARTURES BOARDING TIMES AND GATES, AND SHOW SOME FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS MONITOR READING (English): "CANCELLED" PASSENGERS WALKING, CARRYING SUITCASES DEPARTURE ELECTRONIC BOARD SHOWING FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS PASSENGERS AT AIRPORT
- Embargoed: 5th April 2015 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAE969ML9ROZ99XTV7JBUXQNSE8
- Story Text: Pilots at Lufthansa staged a fourth straight day of walkouts on Saturday (March 21), grounding almost half of the German airline's lucrative long-haul flights in a protracted row over early retirement benefits and cost cuts.
Lufthansa cancelled 74 of a total 160 long-haul connections scheduled for Saturday, affecting about 20,000 passengers, and said it was scrapping almost 60 percent of cargo flights.
The airline wants to cut spending to levels nearer those of its rivals.
It is being squeezed by budget firms Ryanair and easyJet on European routes and by airlines such as Turkish and Emirates on long-haul flights.
One Lufthansa passenger at Frankfurt airport, Germany's most important hub for long-haul international flights, said the recurring strikes were "enough".
"It's getting a bit much. One should also take into consideration the company (Lufthansa), and that means, that sometimes it's enough," Wolfram Bruening said.
Another affected passenger said he would fly with a different airline.
"Bad. I mean for the affected passengers, it is of course not good. But what can I say? I will fly with a different airline operator," Manfred Hellbach said.
Passenger Tabo Strahler said the striking pilot's demands were unrealistic.
"I have mixed feelings. Of course one can demand for early retirement benefits but on the whole I think it's not a responsible thing to do, to have such high demands, in such negotiations. So I am rather against it," he said.
Strikes cost it more than 200 million euros ($214 million) in lost operating profit last year, and losses are mounting again as pilots hold their 15th walkout since last April.
The airline's dispute with pilots involves early retirement benefits that the VC pilots' union wants to keep but which Lufthansa wants to change for new hires.
The pilots also want Lufthansa to enter mediation on other outstanding issues, such as pay and bringing costs down on flights to tourist destinations.
Lufthansa has rejected the demand.
The airline is also due to start separate wage talks on Monday with services union Verdi, which represents about 33,000 Lufthansa workers on the ground at IT unit Lufthansa Systems, catering unit LSG, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cargo.
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