31 March 2014 at 08.20 GMT
A three-day strike by Lufthansa pilot threatens to cause mass disruption of flights from tomorrow night (Tuesday).
Hundreds of flights are expected to be cancelled as a result of the dispute over pay and working conditions.
The pilots are due to walk out from 10pm on Tuesday, affecting Lufthansa passenger services at all airports in Germany, as well as low-cost offshoot Germanwings.
It will be the third strike to hit Frankfurt airport, Lufthansa’s home base, in six weeks.
Lufthansa was forced to cancel a third of its around 1,800 services on Thursday due to a strike by public sector workers employed in areas such as baggage handling at German airports.
That strike came after industrial action by security staff caused thousands of passengers to miss their flights at the end of February.
The airline is urging union Vereinigung Cockpit, which represents around 5,400 pilots, to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible.
Head of personnel Dr Bettina Volkens said: “With the good will of everyone involved, we should be able to avert a strike.”
The airline says it will take whatever steps it can to minimise the effect of a strike on its customers.
But Lufthansa said: “We regret very much that from April 2 to April 4 we probably won’t be able to get our passengers to their destinations or home as planned.”
Lufthansa, which employs 118,000 people and carries more passengers than any European airline besides Ryanair, is midway through a three-year restructuring drive aimed at cutting €1.5 billion in costs by the end of next year.
Sourced from Travel Weekly