Fearing potential staff cuts, Lufthansa's high-paid German pilots took to the picket lines yesterday, plunging the airline into its longest ever strike and forcing the carrier to cancel hundreds of flights.
Passengers left stranded by the strike that started at midnight local time are being rebooked on other airlines or have to take trains for domestic travel, after last-ditch attempts to reach a compromise failed over the weekend. The airline expects the strike will cost it €100 million (Dh496m), in addition to lost ticket sales and possible damage to its reputation now that it will ground about 800 flights per day over a four-day period.
European travellers faced additional headaches, as yesterday was the final day of a cabin crew strike ballot at rival British Airways.
Some 4,000 German pilots voted for the strike at Lufthansa on concerns the company could try to cut staff costs by shifting jobs to foreign subsidiaries.
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