Lufthansa Cancels More Than 1,000 Flights Amid Strike at German Airports

Cancellations have affected more than 130,000 passengers.

Duesseldorf airport
Photo: Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images

German airline Lufthansa is canceling more than 1,000 flights this week, including nearly all of its flights from its Frankfurt and Munich hubs, after a ground staff strike compounded overall summer travel woes.

In Frankfurt, Lufthansa said it would be forced to cancel a total of 678 flights due to the strike, according to the airline. And in Munich, the carrier said it would cancel a total of 345 flights. In all, the cancellations will affect more than 130,000 passengers.

So far on Wednesday, the airline had already canceled a total of 528 flights, or 58% of its schedule, according to flight tracker FlightAware. That is in addition to the 261 flights it canceled on Tuesday, or 28% of its schedule, and 384 that were delayed.

Lufthansa said affected passengers would be rebooked on alternative flights "if possible," but said "the capacities available for this are very limited."

The disruptions come as ground staff walked off the job Wednesday, part of a demand for a 9.5% pay increase, Reuters reported.

The union is arguing staff are overworked due to significant staff shortages, high inflation, and a three-year wage freeze, CNN reported.

Michael Niggemann, the chief human resources officer and labor director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said in a statement the strike was an "early escalation," adding "this so-called warning strike is in the middle of the peak summer travel season [and] is simply no longer proportionate."

The airline said it would work to return its operations to normal over the weekend, but said the effects may still be felt on Thursday and Friday. On Twitter, Lufthansa responded to customers struggling to get in touch with the airline by warning that "Due to the strike and high call volumes, the lines are currently extremely busy."

Lufthansa is the latest airline to deal with staffing issues this summer, with several airlines in the United States preemptively slashing their schedules in an effort to keep up, and London's Heathrow Airport even asking carriers to stop selling tickets this summer.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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