Lufthansa flights grounded as transport strike brings Germany to a standstill
All Lufthansa flights will be grounded today (27 March) due to widespread strike action across Germany.
A mass walkout by transport workers which began at midnight, affecting airports, railways, bus services, underground services and ports, has brought the country to a standstill.
The German flag carrier confirmed that all flights from its main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich are among those affected, causing disruption to hundreds of thousands of passengers.
It confirmed that rebooking alternatives were “very limited” and that it would not be possible to offer passengers any “short-term rebooking solutions” at airport desks, stating that the airport halls “are already heavily frequented”.
“If you have planned a domestic flight, we ask you to travel by train in the coming days,” it added.
Germany’s airport association described the strike as “beyond any imaginable and justifiable measure”.
The situation has been exacerbated by a breakdown at Lufthansa’s IT service provider, limiting check-in to the airline’s app.
Elsewhere, long-distance rail services have been cancelled by German rail operator Deutsche Bahn.
The largest strike to hit the country in decades follows similar industrial action in both France and the UK.
The 24-hour strikes called by the Verdi and EVG transport unions represent nearly three million workers across the transport sector.
Frank Werneke, head of the Verdi labour union, described industrial action as a matter of survival amid high inflation, according to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
The cost of living rose more than anticipated in February, up nearly 10 per cent from a year ago.
The chair of EVG told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper that employers had not yet made a viable offer and warned that further warning strikes were possible, including over the upcoming Easter holiday period.
Deutsche Bahn on Sunday said the strike was “completely excessive, groundless and unnecessary,” and employers are warning that higher wages for transport workers would result in higher fares and taxes to make up the difference.
The news follows the cancellation of national rail strikes in the UK scheduled to take place on 30 March and 1 April.
Rail services should now run normally, with the full range of fares available.