Monday, September 29, 2014

Lufthansa Pilots Plan Strike on Tuesday • Walkout Over Retirement-Benefits Dispute Could Disrupt Long-Haul Flights From Frankfurt

The Wall Street Journal
By Ulrike Dauer

Updated Sept. 29, 2014 3:35 a.m. ET

FRANKFURT—Travelers flying to and from Europe could face more disruption Tuesday as pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG plan another walkout in a dispute with management over retirement benefits.

The German pilot union, Vereinigung Cockpit, announced Monday that Lufthansa pilots will stage a strike between 0600 GMT and 2100 GMT Tuesday.

The strike will affect long-haul flights departing from Frankfurt, Germany's busiest international airport. No other airport will be affected by Tuesday's strike, a spokesman for the union said.

Lufthansa is working to ensure that it can offer as many flights as possible Tuesday, despite the walkout, said a spokesman for the airline. It will publish a special flight schedule on its website in the course of the day, he said

The airline and its pilots have been embroiled in a row for more than two years over retirement benefits. Last week, the Vereinigung Cockpit union had threatened that the latest breakdown in negotiations would lead to industrial action.

More likely air-travel disruption in Germany comes as Air France pilots ended one of their longest strikes at the French carrier on Sunday, despite failing to reach an agreement with management over the fate of the airline's Transavia budget unit.

SNPL France Alpa, Air France's main pilots union, has decided to resume work after a 14-day strike that had forced the carrier, the French unit of Air France-KLM SA, to cancel more than half of its flights and cost the airline about €20 million ($25 million) a day.

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