Lufthansa pilots ordered to end strike by court

BBC Online

A German regional court has ordered an end to the Lufthansa pilots’ strike which has affected 140,000 travellers, overturning a previous ruling by a lower court.

Pilots began action stopping long-haul flights yesterday and extended it to medium and short-haul journeys today.

Their union is in a long battle over pay and retirement benefits.

The company said the judgement was good news for passengers, but came too late to alter Wednesday’s flight schedule.

It said flights would be back to normal on Thursday.

The strike, which affected 1,000 flights, was the 13th stoppage in 18 months.

Lufthansa is trying to restructure to meet increasing competition, particularly from the Gulf airlines and lower-cost operators, and wants to maintain market share through its budget airline.

It has insisted it will go ahead with contract changes that bring pilots’ pay and conditions into line with colleagues at the lower-cost operations.

The German employers’ association BDA said the strikes were damaging the entire German economy.