Lufthansa CEO vows to break bitter pilots’ strike

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr said Europe’s third-largest airline must hold its nerve and face down striking pilots if it’s to deliver meaningful savings and survive as a force in aviation.
Lufthansa CEO vows to break bitter pilots’ strike

Taking on the pilots “is not about being tough,” but “about the future of Lufthansa,” Mr Spohr said in Berlin on the eve of a second day of walkouts by cockpit crew. If the company caves in to pay demands it has “no chance of survival” he said.

Lufthansa has already canceled almost 1,900 flights, wiping out 40% of the timetable and disrupting travel for more than 215,000 people.

Scrapped services will top 2,600 by the end of a third day of action today, taking the number of passengers impacted to 315,000. Lufthansa has said each day of strikes has so far cost about €10m, with Friday’s action set to cost half that.

A long-running spat over wages, working conditions and the expansion of Lufthansa’s low-cost Eurowings arm has reached new levels of bitterness after Mr Spohr sought to block the strike. When a Frankfurt labour court dismissed the case and an appeal failed, the Vereinigung Cockpit union retaliated by extending the protest by two more days.

The union is seeking a 20% raise for 2012 through 2017, or 3.7% a year. Lufthansa has offered 2.5%, or 0.38% annually, through 2018.

More in this section

Budget 2022 Logo

What impact will this  year's budget have on you and your business.

The Business Hub

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up