Business

Lufthansa bears brunt of
Frankfurt airport strike

Empty lots: A man walks along check in counters at the airport while ground workers of the apron control went on strike at the international airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Monday. The strike is forcing the cancellation of 231 flights slated for Monday and the union now says it will extended the strike to a fourth day. (AP/Michael Probst)
Empty lots: A man walks along check in counters at the airport while ground workers of the apron control went on strike at the international airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Monday. The strike is forcing the cancellation of 231 flights slated for Monday and the union now says it will extended the strike to a fourth day. (AP/Michael Probst)

A strike by ground workers at Frankfurt airport will be extended through to the middle of the week, union officials said as another 231 flights, primarily operated by national carrier Lufthansa, were canceled on Monday.

Representatives of the air traffic controllers' union GdF said their strike will last through 5 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Wednesday. In their demand for better pay, some 200 ground workers went on strike last Thursday and Friday. Though hundreds of flights were interrupted, most traffic continued.

The majority of the cancellations were flights operated by Lufthansa to destinations within Europe. The airline has been scratching flights ahead of time and listing them on its website to ease operations. It said passengers who had entered their mobile phone numbers in their online profiles were being notified by text message about future cancellations.

Lufthansa said it called off about 100 round trips, or 200 flights, on Monday and expected that number to fall to 80 round trips on Tuesday. Passengers are being offered refunds or the opportunity to rebook free of charge for flights canceled by the strike, the airline said.

A spokesman for airport operator Fraport AG, Mike Peter Schweitzer, said the cancellations Monday come out of 1,250 individual scheduled flights.

Schweitzer said that "from our side we remain ready to talk with GdF but we are waiting for willingness to compromise on their side." No talks are scheduled, he said.

The GdF union, which also represents ground workers, has been locked in a pay dispute with Fraport AG for months. The strike came after the company rejected the result of an arbitration panel as excessive. (nvn)

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