Fronts Harden in Lufthansa Labor Dispute (Der Spiegel) →
As expected, thousands of stranded passengers were none too pleased by the first strike on Friday at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s busiest. Lufthansa had to cancel nearly half of the 360 flights scheduled to take off on Friday morning, and the airport almost ground to a complete halt until 2 p.m. Lines of waiting passengers in Terminal 1 wound their way through several parts of the building.
There was even uproar in the luxurious and normally serene first-class terminal, as furious frequent fliers ranted at Lufthansa staff. To add to the disarray, flight crews waved placards with anti-Franz slogans directly opposite, at one of the entrances to the airport site.
Things are kind of getting back to normal but Tuesday’s A380 flight from Frankfurt to Houston was canceled due to the strike and the effects of the strike will probably roll into next week. All of this stemming from the flight attendant’s union wanting an increase in pay and the same group being disenfranchised by the prospects of cost cutting by Lufthansa.
The Gulf-state carriers (Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, etc.) are a real source of “hard to beat” competition due to their seemingly bottomless coffers and their willingness to go into a new market and take it by storm. Lufthansa is attempting to cut costs to compete on lower fares. It’s just a question of how far are they going to take that.