Pilots of German flag carrier, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, launched a four-day strike early Monday that now threatens to ground the majority of the carrier's flights. Efforts over the weekend to resume contract talks failed.
According to the company, it is likely that the strike may see atleast two-thirds of Lufthansa's international and domestic flights cancelled. It also said losses would mount by roughly 25 million euros a day.
More than 4,000 Lufthansa pilots decided to walk out on their jobs soon after talks with management, related to job and pay security, folded up last week.
The pilots union, Vereinigung Cockpit, wants management to let pilots have a larger say in decisions on where planes would be operated from and which pilots man the aircraft. After Lufthansa's rapid expansion over the past two years, the union fears that jobs could increasingly be shifted elsewhere outside the country where pilots would earn less.
Vereinigung Cockpit said Saturday it was ready to resume talks without dropping specific demands. Lufthansa responded Sunday by saying it was open to talks but without preconditions.
Lufthansa has been rebooking passengers on other airlines as well as trains in anticipation of the strike. The industrial action is also expected to affect the carrier's cargo operations and its LCC, Germanwings.