Lufthansa pilots strike for 4th day, 137 flights cancelled

The Associated Press

A plane lands during sunrise at the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. Lufthansa pilots will continue their strike at least until Saturday. (Marcel Kusch/dpa via AP) 

( The Associated Press) –BERLIN – Pilots at Lufthansa are staging a fourth consecutive day of strikes against the German airline on Saturday, with chances of an immediate resolution to the pay dispute looking slim after their union rejected a new offer from the company.

The Cockpit union targeted Lufthansa’s long-haul services, prompting 137 flight cancellations and affecting some 30,000 passengers. That was fewer than on previous days, when Cockpit members also hit short-haul flights.

Cockpit said that there will be no walkout Sunday and it will give at least 24 hours’ notice of any further strikes next week.

Lufthansa said it expects flights to operate largely as scheduled on Sunday. However, it cautioned that there will still be a few cancellations as a result of the previous days’ disruption and urged passengers to check the status of their flights online.

Cockpit is seeking retroactive raises of 3.66 per cent a year going back 5 1/2 years. Lufthansa, which faces increasing competition from Gulf airlines and European budget carriers, says it can’t satisfy that demand.

On Friday, Lufthansa offered to increase pay by 4.4 per cent by mid-2018, and make a one-time payment equal to 1.8 monthly salaries in lieu of past raises.

It also offered to hire about 1,000 new pilots in the coming five years and seek third-party mediation on other outstanding issues.

Cockpit, however, argued that the proposal simply reiterated one made over two months ago.