German Airline Lufthansa Cancels 929 Flights Due to Cabin Crew Strike

Lufthansa aircraft in Riga
A Lufthansa Airbus A319-100 aircraft at Riga International airport, Latvia, October 28. The airline is facing possible strike action from its cabin crew over cuts to retirement and pension benefits. Reuters/Ints Kalnins

German airline Lufthansa cancelled 929 flights on Monday due to a cabin crew strike. The flight cancellations will affect 113,000 passengers booked on both short-haul and long-haul flights, according to the airline.

Monday's strike is part of an ongoing dispute between the airline and the UFO union, which represents the cabin crew. The union is demanding staff keep their access to early retirement benefits and pensions, as Lufthansa tries to push down its costs to compete with other low-cost carriers.

The strike, led by members of the UFO union, began with a nine-hour walkout on Friday. On Saturday, the first full day of the strikes, Lufthansa was forced to cancel 520 flights, though services returned to normal Sunday when cabin crew returned to work for a day.

Those striking Monday are doing so in the German cities of Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich. The strikes are expected to end around 5 p.m. EST though further strike action will continue throughout the week at other airports. The union has said Lufthansa's intransigence is "not comprehensible" given the company reported a net profit of $1.88 billion for the first nine months of the year, up from $519 million in the same period of 2014.

Lufthansa, which has described the strikes as "unprecedented" in the company's history, announced that its board will meet to discuss the consequences of the action and that it is "ready to resume talks."

More than 2,000 of its flights will still run on Monday while its subsidiaries—Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, Air Dolomiti, Swiss and Cityline—remain unaffected by the walkout.

UFO has said industrial action is "unavoidable" after airline management failed to make a better offer.