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Deutsche Lufthansa CEO Apologizes About Pilot Strike on YouTube

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Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (OTCMKTS:DLAKY) used YouTube to express his apology to customers regarding the inconvenience of another pilot strike at Frankfurt.

Deutsche Lufthansa cancelled 25 long-haul flights

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union announced another strike. As a result, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (OTCMKTS:DLAKY) cancelled 25 long-haul flights out of the 57 scheduled for September 30. According to the airline, 32 of the flights were secured and scheduled to depart.

Longest and hardest labor conflict

According to Spohr, the strike at Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (OTCMKTS:DLAKY) is the “longest and hardest labor conflict in the history of the airline industry. In a video posted on YouTube, he requested customers to understand and be patient with the situation.

Spohr said, “With tough competition we also want to be able to invest into aircraft, into services, into staff, in the future—this is why we are enduring these labor strikes, why we are showing patience and why I have to ask you for your patience.”

For more than two years, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (OTCMKTS:DLAKY) and its pilots have disagreement regarding changes in retirement benefits. Pilots decided to conduct another strike after their negotiations failed last week. The latest pilot strike was the fifth this year.

Deutsche Lufthansa wants to raise the early-retirement age to reduce costs and ensure that it will remain competitive in the future. Currently, pilots can retire at the age of 55 and will continue to receive 60% of their wages. The company believed that its existing benefits plan was obsolete since new European laws allow pilots to flight until the age of 65

Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (OTCMKTS:DLAKY) revealed the details of its proposed retirement package to pilots two-weeks ago. Vereinigung Cockpit said the pilots were compelled to take their latest action because the airline still needs to present a compromise offer.

Strike will damage Deutsche Lufthansa with unforeseeable consequences

Yesterday, Kay Kratky, a member of the board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (OTCMKTS:DLAKY) said, “Even if we manage under these difficult conditions to get more than half our scheduled long-haul flights from Frankfurt off the ground with volunteer crews tomorrow (Tuesday), the walkout will again severely damage our reputation and erode confidence in our airline’s reliability.”

She added that the union’s repeated resort to strike will damage the airline with unforeseeable consequences. “We apologize explicitly for the measures taken by the VC union,” said Kratky.

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