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Lufthansa strikes put profit at risk

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 01:45

Strikes by German pilots enter their sixth day amid calls from German industry and other Lufthansa staff for the two sides to talk and bring the strike to an end. As Ross Miklaszewicz reports, the disruption is costing the German carrier about 10-15 million euros a day.

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It's becoming a long-haul for German airline Lufthansa. The cost of the ongoing dispute with its pilots - between 10 and 15 million euro's a day. And now its 2016 profit target is at risk. The carrier's offered a 4.4 percent pay increase in two instalments. And a one-off payment of nearly 2 months pay. But the unions want annual increases of 3.7 percent, backdated to 2012. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESMAN PILOTS' UNION VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT (VC), WINFRIED STREICHER, SAYING: "I believe the time has come to quickly solve this dispute. We fought long enough. Our passengers have had to suffer long enough." So far this year 4500 flights have been cancelled because of industrial action. That's on top of 7000 in 2015 which cost the carrier 231 million euros in lost profit. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "Lufthansa are looking to make some important structural changes that will make their business model more robust going forwards so I think its an important test case for them in terms of getting long term corporate profitability of that company back on track." Travel Management Company Carlon Wagonlit hasn't seen a major drop in advanced bookings yet. But the risk is increasing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING "Each time you get industrial disruption of this type then there are customers who'll be impacted and that obviously echoes through into future orders future sentiment." There've been no talks since Friday. But Lufthansa says it is considering union comments suggesting a five percent offer might bring them back to the negotiating table.

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Lufthansa strikes put profit at risk

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 01:45