Lufthansa has cut 876 out of 3,000 flights scheduled for tomorrow as it seeks a temporary injunction to avoid strike action that'll affect 100,000 passengers.
Pilots are planning a 24-hour day strike – the latest interruption to Lufthansa's operations as a long-running pay dispute wages on.
In a statement, the airline said it "deeply regrets" that the pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has called for its members to go on strike tomorrow 23 November from 12.01am to 11.59pm.
A total of 2,124 of approximately 3,000 daily flights of the Lufthansa Group will take place.
51 of the 876 cancelled flights are intercontinental flights; approximately 100.000 passengers are affected overall.
It apologised to all customers affected by the strike and said it was "doing everything in its power to keep customers informed and to rebook them to other airlines and other means of transportation wherever possible".
The group airlines Eurowing, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines won't be affected by the strike, while flights to and from Germany operated by group airlines won't be either.
Budget airline Eurowings did cancel more than 60 flights today though, over a separate walkout by some cabin crew in a pay dispute between management and the Verdi labour union.
Lufthansa said it plans to operate individual routes tomorrow in spite of the strikes.
Pay talks between the union and the airline broke down earlier this month: the union wants an average 3.7 per cent a year pay increase for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period.
Lufthansa has offered 2.5 per cent increases, though the union says that essentially equates to a virtual pay freeze. The VC has now organised 14 strikes since April 2014.
It's trying to trim costs in a battle to keep pace with competition from low-cost carriers and Gulf rivals.
What to do if you're affected
- Lufthansa advises all passengers check the status of their flight on LH.com before travelling to the airport
- It will also be notifying all passengers who have added their contact information to their customer profiles of potential flight cancellations by e-mail or SMS
- Customers can also call the free hotline at 0800 850 60 70 for information (free from German landlines)
- Customers whose flights have been cancelled have the "one-time option" to transfer/cancel their booking. You can find more information under "Current Travel Information" on the airline's website