Berlin, Dec 30: Operations of low-cost airline Germanwings, subsidiary of Germany's largest airline Lufthansa, were severely restricted after flight attendants started a three-day strike action on Monday.
Around 180 flights were expected to be cancelled, most of them inner German connections. The German flight attendants' union UFO had initiated the strike and asked its members not to show up for work between Monday and Wednesday.
Eurowings, the new umbrella brand for which Germanwings is operating, expects that around 15 percent of its 1,200 flights would be affected by the strikes. The airports in Cologne-Bonn, Munich, Hamburg as well as Berlin-Tegel would be hit the worst.
"The Germanwings management does not give the employees a clear perspective for the future of their flight operations. For UFO, this lack of perspective is also reflected in the collective bargaining topics at the negotiating table," UFO stated on Monday.
In October, Lufthansa itself was hit by strikes as UFO members stopped working at the airports of Frankfurt and Munich, demanding a pay rise of 1.8 percent, better pension schemes as well as part-time working arrangements at Lufthansa's subsidiaries.
Eurowings stressed that the current dispute was only about 11 rejected part-time applications which "could not be granted for operational reasons.
" According to the airline, "almost all part-time wishes could be realized for the approximately 800 flight attendants."
Germanwings chief executive officer Francesco Sciortino criticized the strikes during a "very important holiday season" and stressed the successful development of Germanwings despite "a still difficult market environment." (UNI-Xinhua)