The FINANCIAL -- By taking early precautions and providing customers with as much information as possible, Lufthansa has so far managed to mitigate the effects on passengers of the strike by the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit.
The FINANCIAL -- By taking early precautions and providing customers with as much information as possible, Lufthansa has so far managed to mitigate the effects on passengers of the strike by the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit. Before the strike began, Lufthansa cancelled 3,800 flights. The situation at airports is very quiet. Around 425,000 passengers will have been affected by the industrial action. The impact on earnings will come to a medium double-digit million figure, according to Lufthansa AG.
Lufthansa’s significantly scaled back flight operations are on schedule, with the number of flights cut by around 90 per cent. Thanks to the prompt planning of a stable minimum of operations, the remaining flights have so far taken place as planned. Lufthansa cancelled around 3,800 flights and is operating a remainder of some 500 connections. The impact on earnings will come to a medium double-digit million figure.
The situation is very quiet at all airports in Germany – including the major hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Around 20,000 customers were able to take the train instead, and Lufthansa switched others to the remaining members of the airline group, Star Alliance airlines or external carriers. More than 25,000 tickets were rebooked on www.LH.com. Although the capacity of the call centres was extended as much as possible, it was not possible to avoid long waiting times. On normal days, the Lufthansa call centres receive between 4,000 and 5,000 calls from customers. On Tuesday, there were 80,000, and Wednesday, the figure was 25,000, according to Lufthansa AG.
“We have prepared for this in the best possible way and significantly increased capacities at our call centres in advance, so as to assist our customers with rebooking flights. Unfortunately, with such extremely high call volumes, in some cases, long waiting times cannot be avoided. We would like to apologize to our customers for this,” said Jens Bischof, Chief Commercial Officer, Lufthansa German Airlines. “We aim to be a competent partner, even in these exceptional circumstances. We will continue to devote all our efforts to finding alternative travel arrangements for every passenger,” Bischof added.
At the next press conference, to be held tomorrow, Friday 4 April at 1 p.m. in the Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC) in Frankfurt, the Lufthansa Group will report on flight operations during the three days of the strike and announce its preparations for returning to normal operations. The press conference will be broadcast live on the internet in German and English. Simultaneous interpreting will also be provided at the conference.
In the course of Friday afternoon CET, preparations will begin in Asia for resuming flight operations with intercontinental aircraft. The first flights will take off at 5 p.m. CET from East Asia and will arrive in Europe early on Saturday morning. Flight operations at both Lufthansa and Germanwings should be back to schedule on Saturday. There may still be some irregularities due to operational reasons. This very swift return to normal operations is possible because, for the duration of the strike, the aircraft and crews have been stationed where operations are to resume upon conclusion of the strike, according to Lufthansa AG.