SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Pilots at Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary, Germanwings, have staged a strike over a long-running dispute with the German flag carrier’s plans to scrap an early retirement plan.
The Vereinigung Cockpit union confirmed Thursday morning that the half-day work stoppage was scheduled to last until about midnight tonight, leading to the cancelation of nearly a hundred flights.
The strike marks the seventh such walkout so far this year launched by the union, which represents about 5,400 Lufthansa pilots.
The series of walkouts have cost Lufthansa about USD 90 million so far.
The pilots want Europe’s largest airline to keep their current retirement scheme, under which Lufthansa pays up to 60 percent of pay to pilots who want to retire early at the age of 55.
Workers have also threatened to stage more strikes as long as negotiations on the issue remain stalled.
Lufthansa, which is in tough competition with major Persian Gulf and low-cost airlines, has offered to keep the pension scheme for employees who started work before 2014.
The airline says the current retirement scheme is no longer needed, given an increase in life expectancy and a recent court ruling that allows pilots to work until the age of 65.