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Lufthansa strike grounds Budapest flights

Transport

Four Budapest-Munich and four Budapest-Frankfurt flights scheduled today have been canceled by German airline Lufthansa, out of a total of 876 flights across its network, as pilots once again represented by union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) have gone on strike, according to reports. VC has also announced a strike for tomorrow.

The total number of Lufthansa passengers missing flights due to the ongoing strike is around 100,000, Hungarian news portal index.hu reported. The strike does not affect the flights of Lufthansaʼs subsidiaries Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Brussels Airlines or Air Dolomiti, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. 

VC is demanding an annual wage rise of 3.66% for almost 5,400 pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Eurowings and Germanwings, according to index.hu. The airline had offered 2.5%, but VC claimed this was unacceptable due to the group’s “significant profits,” index.hu added.

“Lufthansa notes that, for incomprehensible reasons, the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit has announced an additional strike for Thursday before Wednesday’s strike has even begun,” a press statement on the website of Lufthansa Group says. “Once more, they are inflicting extensive damage on our company and especially on our customers,” it added.

“Lufthansa will make preparations to deal with the operative effects of the strike immediately, in order to allow its customers to make reliable plans as soon as possible,” the press statement said, noting that 876 flights have already been cancelled for Wednesday, including 51 long-haul flights. “Lufthansa regrets and apologizes for the inconvenience that the flight cancellations are causing its passengers,” the airline added.

Slightly more than a year ago Lufthansa’s Budapest flights were similarly affected by strikes. All flights between Budapest and Frankfurt, and several flights between Budapest and Munich, were cancelled due to a strike by cabin crew on November 11, following similar cancellations due to strike action on November 9.

Lufthansa announced only yesterday that the number of passengers on its Hungarian flights rose slightly by 1% to 1.36 million in the first three quarters of 2016 compared to the equivalent period last year.

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