INDIA. Delhi: On Friday, a pilot strike forced Lufthansa to postpone two of its flights, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, and chaos erupted at Terminal 3 of IGI Airport.
Outside the airport, more than 150 family members of the stranded travelers gathered and vowed to stage a violent protest. Four hundred passengers were scheduled to go on flights to Munich and Frankfurt when they were abruptly cancelled, according to Tanu Sharma, DCP at IGI Airport.
A one-day pilot strike reportedly forced the German airline to cancel the two flights, leaving 700 passengers stranded.
The first flight, carrying 400 passengers, was scheduled to depart at 1.10 in the morning, and the second, carrying 300 passengers, was scheduled to depart for Frankfurt at 2.50 in the morning.
Security issues were also raised by the movement of the stranded Lufthansa passengers inside the terminal structure.
Families of the stranded travellers gathered outside on the main road in front of Gate No. 1 and requested alternative arrangements.
Despite being informed of the unexpected cancellations, the mob erupted and caused a traffic bottleneck. The CISF and the airport workers later managed to calm them down.
Why were flights cancelled by Lufthansa Airlines?
German news agency DPA reports that Lufthansa pilots will strike all day on Friday for its main passenger flights and freight division. This was confirmed overnight by the pilots’ organisation Vereinigung Cockpit (VC).
Following the Vereinigung Cockpit strike for greater pay, Lufthansa cancelled 800 flights from its main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich (VC).
The VC union wants automatic inflation compensation in the future in addition to a 5.5% wage increase this year. It is also requesting better conditions for pilots just starting out.
According to Lufthansa, there may be “isolated cancellations or delays” on Saturday and Sunday while efforts are made to restore normalcy. Nearly 1,30,000 travelers worldwide were impacted by airline cancellations.