Travelers in Europe will face even more delays and cancellations as the Frankfurt Airport strike continues through Wednesday.
The strike by ground control staff at Europe's third-busiest airport entered its third day Monday and was scheduled to continue until 0400 GMT (5 a.m. EST) Wednesday. The scuffle has already grounded hundreds of flights, primarily short-haul Lufthansa trips to destinations within Europe.
Lufthansa is listing canceled flights on is Web site and keeping customers abreast of the latest information via text messages. The carrier called off roughly 100 round trips, or 200 flights, on Monday and expected that number to decrease to around 80 round trips on Tuesday. Passengers are being offered refunds or rebooking free of charge for flights canceled by the strike.
Measures taken by Lufthansa and Fraport to limit impact of strike actions on flight operations at Frankfurt airport are working out so that passengers can be provided with a reliable special timetable, the airline said in a statement Monday.
Lufthansa, Europe's second-largest airline, has its main hub in Frankfurt, which ranks behind London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle in Europe in terms of annual passenger numbers.
Despite the cancellations, airport operator Fraport AG said operations otherwise continue to run smoothly. The airport managed to have 80 percent of flights operate on Monday.
Nearly 200 members of the Frankfurt-based Gewerkschaft der Flugsicherung union (GdF) are seeking a revised accord with Fraport AG on wages and plans to outsource ground-control jobs, accusing the airport operator of intransigence.
The strike came after the company rejected the result of an arbitration panel as excessive, arguing that it would inappropriately inflate pay scales for the other airport workers.
Fraport is willing to negotiate at any time if the GdF is ready to make compromises and if it ends its strike action, the airport operator said. The excessive demands and the stubborn attitude from GdF are affecting passengers, airlines and our employees. This must come to an end.
In the meantime, Fraport's management is looking at hiring from other airports on a short-term basis. Ground-control qualified staff has been drafted in from administrative posts to maximize flight operation.
The German government has so far declined to intervene, saying that the strike is a contractual issue between the airport and its staff.
The series of walkouts began on Feb. 16 and neither side appears ready to give ground.