The Vereinigung Cockpit union is calling for a 5.5 percent pay increase this year and an automatic adjustment for inflation starting next year.

Lufthansa has already been rocked by strike action by its ground staff on Wednesday, which forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,000 flights.
Lufthansa has already been rocked by strike action by its ground staff on Wednesday, which forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,000 flights. (Reuters)

Pilots at German carrier Lufthansa have voted by a margin of 97.6 percent in favour of industrial action, threatening further disruption during the busy summer travel season.

Sunday's vote does not necessarily mean a strike will be held, but it was a signal to the employer that constructive steps needed to be taken, pilot's union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) board member Marcel Groels said.

"We are showing we are ready to talk," he added.

The union said that walkouts can still be avoided but called the result an “unmistakable signal” to the company in a pay dispute.

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

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

A spokesperson for Lufthansa said they respected the results of the vote and hoped for a constructive solution at the negotiating table.

Pilots' union VC is demanding a 5.5 percent pay rise this year for its pilots and automatic inflation compensation thereafter. 

It also wants a uniform pay structure for all staff at the Lufthansa group's airlines, which include flagship carrierLufthansa as well as budget unit Eurowings.

READ MORE: Lufthansa scraps 1,300 flights over two-day German strike

Lufthansa has already been rocked by strike action by its ground staff on Wednesday, which forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,000 flights.

Source: AP