Pilots strike forces Lufthansa to cancel 3,800 flights

Lufthansa, Germany's flagship carrier and Europe's largest airline, said that it will cancel 3,800 flights this week due to its pilots announcing a three-day strike over pay and working conditions.

Pilots strike forces Lufthansa to cancel 3,800 flightsThe strike, set to start on Wednesday and end on Friday, will be the biggest in Lufthansa's history and will affect more than 425,000 passengers and cost the carrier and its low-cost unit Germanwings, tens of millions of euros in Lufthansa.

Pilots of the Group airlines Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa CityLine and Air Dolomiti are not participating in the strike.

Due to the strike announced by the pilot's union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), flights of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings have been affected.

VC, the union representing most of Lufthansa's 5,400 pilots, is striking to scrap an early retirement deal.

''During the three day walkout of the cockpit crew only about 500 Lufthansa short and long-haul flights will be operated,'' said Lufthansa in a release.

Lufthansa will inform all passengers about flight changes via text message and email. Most of the remaining domestic and European flights will be flown by its subsidiaries Eurowings and Lufthansa Cityline, whose pilots are not participating in the walkout.

In addition to Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo flights 23 of 31 from Frankfurt have been already cancelled.

''I greatly regret that the Vereinigung Cockpit is not prepared to settle this by negotiations and to find a solution without engaging in a labor dispute. We made good offers for an improved salary as well as a future provision for early leave from flight service,'' said Dr. Bettina Volkens, member of the executive board legal and personnel at Lufthansa.