Lufthansa’s Eurowings hit by union strike, some 180 flights affected

BERLIN: Cabin crew at Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Germanwings unit began a three-day strike Monday that will affect around 180 mostly domestic Eurowings flights out of about 1,200 scheduled during the New Year period.

The latest industrial action affecting Lufthansa underscores fragile relations between Europe’s biggest airline group and labour representatives as the company fights a continent-wide capacity war with low-cost carriers.

The UFO union called the action at Germanwings last week after failing to settle a long-running labour dispute with Lufthansa.

Further strike action may be announced after Jan 2, the union said.

Germanwings operates 30 of the approximately 140 aircraft at Lufthansa’s Eurowings unit and Eurowings said it “will continue to do everything possible to minimise the impact.”

“This strike is unfounded and incomprehensible to us,” it said on its website. “We are doing everything to offer our passengers a normal flight schedule between Christmas and New Year.”

The dispute between Lufthansa and its cabin crew has been going on for several months. The parties hammered out a deal on pay this month, but failed to reach an agreement on working conditions. Cabin-crew members held strikes in November, leading to the cancellation of about 1,300 flights.