Lufthansa expects flights to return to normal on Sunday | News | DW | 26.11.2016
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Lufthansa expects flights to return to normal on Sunday

The airline's striking pilots have decided to operate flights on Sunday, Lufthansa said in a statement. However, some flights could still be canceled.

Most Lufthansa flights were expected to operate on time on Sunday, the airline said in a statement in Frankfurt on Saturday following an announcement by pilot union Cockpit. The company asked travelers to check their flight status at before arriving at the airport.

Despite the end of the pilots' 14th strike in two years, there would still be cancellations because of the backlog of flights since earlier this week, Lufthansa said. Flights could be canceled if a plane were not available at an airport because of the strike. On Saturday, the airline had to cancel 137 flights, of which 88 were intercontinental journeys. According to the company, 30,000 passengers were affected.

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Lufthansa pilots launch 48 hour walkout

The airline has been operating on an emergency schedule since Wednesday, when pilots began their strike, demanding higher wages from their employer. Negotiations have been unsuccessful until now, with more protests likely in the coming week. Cockpit's pilots have, however, promised to announce upcoming strikes 24 hours in advance.

On Friday, Cockpit refused an offer by Lufthansa's management, which included a "comprehensive solution" to their complaints, and a salary hike. Cockpit condemned the offer calling it a "PR move" and accused Lufthansa of trying to push a proposal that had already been rejected two months ago.

Lufthansa's chief executive Carsten Spohr has said the carrier could be in financial trouble if it gives in to the pilots' demands. Despite profits, it needs to cut costs to compete with low-cost rivals.

According to the company, every strike day means a loss of 10 million euros ($11 million), but the figures could grow. Lufthansa's pilots have gone on strike 14 times since 2014, and customers are becoming increasingly wary of making bookings. On Friday, Lufthansa also said that the strikes were influencing potential travelers' buying decisions and that a drop in bookings could affect the airline over the medium-term.

mg/sms (Reuters, AFP)

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