(CNN) – More than 1,000 Lufthansa flights have been canceled so far this week, affecting more than 130,000 passengers.
The German airline announced on Wednesday that it was canceling all of its Germany-based flights.
The strike by union Ver.di’s ground staff “will have a major operational impact in the middle of the peak travel season,” the airline said, “requiring the cancellation of almost the entire flight schedule at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich” for Wednesday.
The airline said it was already under high pressure to reset its flight schedule for this weekend, following previous strikes as the summer holiday season gets underway. Wednesday’s strike could lead to cancellations or delays of individual flights on Thursday and Friday, Lufthansa warned.
At Frankfurt Airport, a total of 678 flights will be cancelled, including 32 on Tuesday and 646 on Wednesday, Lufthansa said. An estimated 92,000 passengers will be affected.
At the Munich hub, a total of 345 flights were cancelled, including 15 on Tuesday and 330 on Wednesday. Lufthansa said 42,000 passengers would be affected.
Some international flights from Bangkok, Singapore, New York, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and New Delhi have been cancelled.
Lufthansa, Germany’s flag carrier, said its ability to rebook passengers affected by the cancellations was extremely limited.
Union Ver.di is calling for a 9.5% pay rise for Lufthansa ground staff, a minimum increase of €350 ($368) per month for 12 months. The union said employees are overworked due to significant staff shortages, high inflation and a three-year wage freeze.
About 20,000 workers, including ground staff, counter staff and flight technicians, have been asked to participate in the Ver.di strike.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s chief human resources officer and labor director, Michael Niggemann, told reporters on Tuesday that the strikes were “causing enormous damage.”
Lufthansa had offered “significant pay rises over the next 12 months”, he said, adding that strike action was “no longer disproportionate”.
Lufthansa head of media relations Martin Leutke told reporters on Wednesday that “a massive strike on the backs of customers is incomprehensible and unjustified” after two rounds of talks with the company.
The company said it was trying to rebook passengers through the best possible alternatives and advised customers without confirmed flights not to come to the airport on Wednesday, saying “resources are limited here and we can help better digitally than we can here.” airport.”
The strike began The strike will end at 3:45 a.m. local time (9:45 p.m. ET) on Wednesday and 6 a.m. local time (midnight ET) on Thursday, the union said in a statement.
Top Image: Empty check-in counters for Deutsche Lufthansa AG at Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport, Germany, on Friday, June 24, 2022. (Alex Kraus/Bloomberg/Getty Images)