FRANKFURT / MAIN – Even after the end of the two-day strike on Thursday and Friday, air traffic at Lufthansa is unlikely to run smoothly. The airline expects some flight cancellations and delays because machines and crews are not yet at the job sites.
The Frankfurt airport operator Fraport also expects crowds, as many passengers had rebooked because of the strikes of the flight attendant union Ufo on Thursday and Friday. Some avoided today's Saturday.
At the same time, there is some hope for an end to the wage dispute for the approximately 21,000 Lufthansa flight attendants. Ufo and the airline want to discuss possible mediation. Both sides agreed strict silence. According to reports, the talks on Sunday are to begin in a secret location. One needs the confidentiality, in order to clear up difficult legal questions, so Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr. "If we settle, the whole thing must have legal support."
Switzerland only slightly affected
Due to the strike of the UFO, Lufthansa had canceled a total of 1500 flights worldwide with a special flight schedule. She spoke of about 200'000 affected passengers. Especially the hubs Frankfurt and Munich hit it. Switzerland was only marginally affected.
If there is no Lufthansa response, the Ufo wants to strike again – even with other companies of the airline. "Either we have a solution or we will just announce that there must be a massive expansion," said UFO spokesman Nicoley Baublies.
Lufthansa has completed a turnaround with its targeted talks with Ufo: for months it had denied the Ufo Executive Board the right to represent and rejected any negotiations.
Ufo calls for higher expenses and allowances as well as better access for seasonal workers to regular employment. However, the main issue in the entire conflict is whether UFO can even enforce collective agreements for cabin crew.
(sda / dpa)