Lufthansa Flights Grounded as Pilots Apply Pressure Over Pay

The pilots also are asking for a new pay and holiday structure that the airline said could increase staffing costs by about 40 percent over two years.

Hundreds of Lufthansa flights were canceled Friday as pilots staged a one-day strike to press their demands for better pay and conditions at Germany's biggest carrier.

The airline said about 800 flights were grounded at its two biggest hubs, Frankfurt Airport and Munich International Airport, due to the walkout. More than 100,000 passengers would be affected, the carrier said.

Lufthansa said it had offered a one-off increase of US$900, amounting to a 5 percent increase for senior pilots and an 18 percent increase for those just starting in the profession.

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit had called for a 5.5 percent 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 percent, or some US$900 million over two years.

Strikes are a common tactic in labor disputes in Germany, where powerful unions have traditionally ensured good conditions for workers.

Germany has seen the highest inflation in decades this year amid a steep rise in energy prices.