Pilot strike forces Lufthansa to cancel hundreds of flights on Wednesday and Thursday

Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:40pm EST
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By Maria Sheahan and Peter Maushagen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote) has canceled hundreds of flights scheduled for Wednesday and will also be forced to ground planes on Thursday as its pilots plan a 48-hour walkout, the latest threat of disruption to its operations in a long-running pay dispute.

The pilot union said in a statement that all of Lufthansa's short and long-haul flights out of Germany will be affected by the continued industrial action, planned to run until 2259 GMT on Thursday.

The strike is the 14th to hit the airline in its row with the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union and the airline said it has canceled 876 of roughly 3,000 flights scheduled for Wednesday, affecting about 100,000 passengers.

Lufthansa was seeking to prevent the strike going ahead late on Tuesday after a Frankfurt labor court earlier rejected its application for an injunction.

But a judge at the Hesse state labor court rejected the company's appeal and said the strike may go ahead, adding that the labor dispute was too complex to be properly dealt with in the form of an expedited injunction.

The pilot union announced Thursday's ongoing strikes immediately after the verdict.

The planned Wednesday strike will run from midnight and affect short-haul and long-haul flights departing from German airports.

Flights by Lufthansa's other airlines including Germanwings, Eurowings, Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines, are not affected by the pilots' strike, Lufthansa said.   Continued...

Lufthansa Check-in machines are pictured in Frankfurt airport, Germany, March 17, 2016. Picture taken with a long exposure.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo