West News Wire: In preparation of a one-day ground crew walkout set for Wednesday, Germany’s flag airline Deutsche Lufthansa said it is cancelling more than 1,000 flights.
Numerous airlines have already had to postpone thousands of flights due to strikes and staff shortages, and long waits at major airports have frustrated vacationers eager to fly after lockdowns tied to COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Lufthansa announced that it had canceled 345 flights in Munich and 678 flights at its hub in Frankfurt, the majority of which were booked for Wednesday.
More than 130,000 passengers were impacted by the decision, according to Lufthansa, which also warned that there would be a few more cancellations and delays on Thursday and Friday following the end of the strike called by the union Verdi in support of a 9.5 percent salary increase.
Earlier in June, Lufthansa had cancelled an additional 2,000 summer flights from Frankfurt and Munich, citing staffing shortages at airports as well as industrial action and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr apologised to its employees and customers for the travel chaos.
“We certainly made mistakes while saving our company and more than 100,000 jobs over the past two years,” Spohr said in a letter to staff seen by Reuters news agency.
“Did we go too far in cutting costs here and there, under the pressure of the more than 10 billion euros [$10.6bn] in pandemic-related losses? Certainly, that too,” he added.
The company is recruiting new staff, including thousands of employees in Europe, but the efforts will only bear fruit in winter, Spohr said.
Airlines around the world had slashed jobs and other costs during the pandemic, which grounded most flights, and found themselves in a quandary as demand returned.