September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
German carrier Lufthansa is facing the threat of fresh strike action over changes to an early retirement scheme and pay structure.
Discussions with German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), which represents most of Lufthansa's 5,400 pilots, broke down over the weekend and the union has now decided in favour of “imminent industrial action”.
Strike action earlier this year from VC wiped €60 million from Lufthansa’s first half operating result, and deterred some passengers from booking flights. That and a fall in ticket prices caused the airline to report lower-than expected second-quarter profits.
“We very much regret the VC’s decision to declare the talks a failure,” Lufthansa told the FT. “In spite of the strike threat, we remain ready to talk – especially in order to avoid harm to our customers.”
According to the FT, VC has said pilots should retain the option of retiring early at 55 due to exposure to the “stresses of the profession”. Lufthansa is proposing an average retirement age of 61.
The union is also concerned about Lufthansa’s plans to tie pay rises to financial performance and are demanding that wages beat inflation. VC has turned down an offer by the airline to increase pay by more than 5 per cent over a period of about four years.
Pilots at Lufthansa Group have a starting salary of €55,000 and can be paid up to €255,500 when they retire. The airline employs about 9,000 pilots, 5,500 of whom are accounted for by the union.