According to its own statements, the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings is stopping the growth plans for German flight operations “with immediate effect”. The reason for this was “massive strike damage” due to the pilots’ walkout, Eurowings announced on Tuesday. It is the airline’s duty to “avoid millions in damage and to ensure the future viability of the entire company”.
On Tuesday, the second day of the Eurowings pilots’ strike, dozens of flights were canceled again. The goal of having around half of the flights take off despite the strike has been achieved so far, a spokesman for the Lufthansa subsidiary told the AFP news agency on Tuesday. “But of course it can’t go on like this.” Accordingly, the airports in Hamburg and Berlin are particularly affected. In Berlin, 26 flights were canceled on Tuesday.
At other airports such as Stuttgart and Cologne, Eurowings has alternative capacities, including through partner companies, said the spokesman. The parent company Lufthansa is also helping out. In Hamburg and Berlin in particular, however, there are hardly any alternatives, which is why more than half of the connections there have to be canceled. A total of 20,000 to 25,000 passengers are affected by the industrial action every day.
Eurowings: No talks between company and union yet
The company is still discussing “how to proceed,” said the spokesman. However, there are currently no talks between the company and the union. According to the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, the pilots’ strike should continue until Wednesday night.
Above all, VC demands a limitation of the maximum flight duty times and an extension of the rest periods of the pilots. Eurowings is currently stimulating working hours “far too often to the contractually agreed maximum,” criticized the union. VC rejected an offer made by the airline two weeks ago after an initial strike as “completely inadequate”.
Eurowings, in turn, accuses the union of endangering jobs and “willfully the future of Eurowings Germany”. The relief package offered until the strike reached the “limit of what was economically justifiable”. The union will not strike with its “unyielding stance on an even better offer,” it said on Monday.