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YVR passengers could be affected by Lufthansa pilot strike

The German airline has cancelled about 800 flights out of Frankfurt and Munich tomorrow
luft
Lufthansa aircraft / Photo from @lufthansa Twitter

Passengers using Lufthansa out of Vancouver International Airport could face flight cancellations, after pilots in Germany voted to strike.

The German airline announced on Thursday that it is having to cancel almost all passenger and cargo flights on Friday, Sept. 2 — about 800 — from its two biggest hubs, Frankfurt and Munich.

Dozens of Lufthansa flights move in and out of YVR daily, though many are codeshares with other airlines. There are several Lufthansa flights between YVR and Europe, including Frankfurt and Munich.

The news comes as YVR braces itself for one of its busiest weekends of the year, with tens of thousands of people flying over the Labour Day holiday.

And it comes just a few days after the agency tasked with the airport's security screening, CATSA, suffered mass, one-day absences, causing massive lineups for passengers.

The union representing the Lufthansa pilots, Vereinigung Cockpit, said the airline has not improved a previous offer, adding that demands for a pay increase were rejected by management.

Lufthansa warning for passengers travelling Sept. 2

A statement issued by Lufthansa on Thursday warned passengers that there will be a “major restriction in the Lufthansa flight programme” on Friday. “In the course of today, Thursday, Lufthansa will adjust the flight schedule and publish the cancellations. All guests with contact details in the booking will be informed via text message or mail.”

The airline added that, due to the large number of cancellations, “it can sometimes take longer until Lufthansa can offer you an adequate rebooking solution.”

“If you have not received any notification from Lufthansa within 18 hours of the cancellation message, please check the current status of your booking yourself online at www.lufthansa.com.”

Eurowings not affected by Lufthansa pilot strike

Lufthansa said that flights operated by its budget airlines Eurowings and Eurowings Discover are not affected by the strike.

According to Lufthansa, the company had offered a one-off increase of 900 euros (about $1,175 Canadian), amounting to a five per cent increase for senior pilots and an 18 per cent increase for those starting the profession.

The union has called for a 5.5 per cent raise this year and an automatic above-inflation increase in 2023.

In addition, pilots are seeking a new pay and holiday structure that the airline said would increase its staffing costs by about 40%, or some 900 million euros over two years.

The Richmond News has reached out to YVR for more information on how passengers may be affected.