Eurowings strike expected to affect thousands of travelers
Berlin, Oct 17: Eurowings airline has announced it expects to operate some 230 flights of the 400 scheduled for Monday as it prepares for a three-day strike over cockpit pilots' wages.
The budget subsidiary of the German airline Lufthansa said on Sunday it was keen to minimize the impact of the strike on its flight operations. However, thousands of passengers are expected to be affected.
Pilots are walking out after the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, which represents almost 10,000 pilots and flight engineers from German airlines, refused an offer proposed by the airliner for more rest times.
"This strike would not be necessary if Eurowings would negotiate with us on an equal footing," the union said.
Eurowings offered 10 extra days of vacation annually and three hours less work each week, which VC said was still insufficient. The airline stressed its offer was nonnegotiable, saying any further reductions would not be "economically justifiable."
How will the airline operate amid the strike?
Pilots are due to go on strike starting midnight CET (2200 GMT/UTC) on Monday up to the end of Wednesday. The carrier asked passengers to check the status of their flights, promising to also operate nearly half the flights scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Eurowings said it had worked hard over the weekend to secure assistance from its partners during the strike.
The airline also said that neither Eurowings Europe, which is based in Austria, nor Eurowings Discover, which operates from Frankfurt and Munich, will take part in the strike.
A previous Eurowings strike earlier in October forced the cancelation of roughly half of the airlines' 500 daily domestic and European flights, stranding some 30,000 passengers.
In September, Lufthansa had to cancel 800 flights when pilots from the main carrier went on strike, affecting schedules in the major hubs of Frankfurt and Munich in particular.
A threatened walkout by ground staff had forced the company to cancel more than 1,000 flights in August.