Frankfurt. German airline Lufthansa announced on Wednesday that it would cancel almost all of its flights to Germany, due to a strike call by ground staff, thus adding to the already chaotic heat at airports across Europe.
“Lufthansa will have to cancel almost all flights to its Frankfurt and Munich centers this Wednesday,” the airline said in a statement. The company said that more than 1,000 flights will be cancelled, affecting around 134,000 passengers.
The Verdi union organization called for a strike “to increase pressure” on the management, which is demanding a 9.5 percent increase in wages.
Wednesday’s strike will affect ground workers, especially maintenance, but also aircraft towing vehicle operators essential to the smooth operation of the airport.
Lufthansa will cancel a total of 678 flights in Frankfurt and 345 in Munich.
About 45 long-haul flights to Germany had already been canceled on Tuesday.
Lufthansa said in a statement that some 7,500 passengers from Asia, the Americas and South America could not board its flights to Germany as planned.
“The impact of the strike may result in occasional cancellations and delays on Thursday and Friday,” the airline said.
The strike comes at the height of the high season, days before the start of the school holidays in two regions of southern Germany.
In addition, in recent weeks, staff shortages have led to long waits at airports for passengers and cancellation of many flights.
Since lifting health restrictions earlier in the year, airlines and airports have struggled to keep up with the sharp increase in demand, after two years of low air traffic during which many workers were lost.
According to a study published in late June by the economic institute IW, the airline industry in Germany currently requires an estimated 7,000 workers.
Lufthansa has already canceled some 6,000 flights this summer, while the country’s first airport, Frankfurt, intends to reduce schedules to “further stabilize air operations”.