Labour union Vereinigung Cockpit says that pay talks with Lufthansa has failed and called on pilots at both the passenger airline and at Lufthansa Cargo to walk out.

Lufthansa also faces possible walkouts by pilots of subsidiary Eurowings, who have voted for industrial action but are due to hold a round of talks with management next week.
Lufthansa also faces possible walkouts by pilots of subsidiary Eurowings, who have voted for industrial action but are due to hold a round of talks with management next week. (AFP Archive)

Pilots at Lufthansa have gone on strike, forcing the German airline to cancel hundreds of flights and leave holidaymakers stranded.

Friday's walk out has led to the cancellation of nearly 800 flights, affecting around 130,000 passengers.

The strike began at 00:01 am local time and is set to continue until 23:59 pm, according to a statement by the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC).

Labour union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) had said earlier that pay talks with Lufthansa had failed, calling on pilots at both the passenger airline and at Lufthansa Cargo to go on strike.

VC is demanding a 5.5 percent pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots and automatic inflation compensation thereafter.

Lufthansa has offered a total of $901.35 (900 euros) more in basic pay per month in two stages over an 18-month term as well as an agreement guaranteeing cockpit staff a minimum fleet size.

Ongoing demands

Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines including Lufthansa to cancel thousands of flights this summer and caused hours-long queues at major airports, frustrating holidaymakers keen to travel after Covid-19 lockdowns.

VC's demands also come against the backdrop of soaring energy and food prices, with German inflation rising to its highest level in almost 50 years in August.

READ MORE: Lufthansa cancels 'almost all' flights Friday in Germany due to strike

Last month, Lufthansa's management reached a pay deal with ground staff, averting further walkouts after a strike had forced it to cancel more than 1,000 flights.

Lufthansa also faces possible walkouts by pilots of subsidiary Eurowings, who have voted for industrial action but are due to hold a round of talks with management next week. 

READ MORE: Over a thousand flights cancelled as Lufthansa staff go on strike

Source: TRTWorld and agencies