Pilots at Lufthansa, Europe’s largest air transport group, overwhelmingly approved the principles of a strike in support of wage demands in the face of inflation, their union announced on Sunday.
This is “a signal that cannot be ignored,” the branch union Cockpit said in a press release.
He added that the threat of seeing Lufthansa’s planes grounded in the near future increased as a result, but the outcome of the consultations did not “automatically mean that we would take measures”.
He intends to immediately renegotiate with the now deadlocked management with “more support” from his base.
Lufthansa has around 5,500 pilots in its passenger and cargo activities. Cockpit is the only union representing them.
In this consultation, 97.6% of passenger pilots agree with the principle of strike, and 99.3% of cargo pilots agree with the principle of strike. Attendance is approximately 95% of members.
Faced with soaring inflation, pilots are asking for a 5.5% increase in wages this year, which is then automatically linked to inflation.
The union also demanded a guarantee of the number of Lufthansa fleets to secure the jobs of the pilots.
The clash was in addition to another clash between Lufthansa and ground crews who were involved in a 24-hour shutdown on July 27 that caused major traffic disruptions in Germany.
Their union, Verdi, is demanding a 9.5 percent pay rise.
In both cases, management has so far rejected wage demands.