Around 700 passengers were left stranded at Terminal 3 of the IGI airport on Friday after the German carrier Lufthansa cancelled two of its flights because of a pilots’ strike. More than 100 individuals, including friends and family of the stranded travellers, reportedly gathered outside the airport and demanded refunds or other accommodations. According to a senior police officer, there was a report of a mob assembling on the main road in front of departure gate number 1 at Terminal 3 IGI Airport at 12.15 am on Friday.
The crowd, which caused a traffic jam outside, demanded a refund or alternate arrangement for their relatives who were present inside the terminal building, Deputy Commissioner of Police (airport) Tanu Sharma said.
When they were told that the flights had been cancelled without any prior intimation, they became agitated. They were later pacified by the CISF and the airport staff. Two flights of Lufthansa, one of them scheduled to depart at 2.50 am for Frankfurt with 300 passengers and another for Munich with 400 passengers and scheduled to depart at 1.10 am, were cancelled, the DCP said.
Both flights were cancelled by the Lufthansa headquarters due to a one-day strike of all Lufthansa pilots demanding salary appraisals, police said. The airline is taking steps to make alternate arrangements, police said.
The planned pilot strike action has forced the German airline Lufthansa to cancel almost all of its passenger and freight flights for Friday from its two main hubs, Frankfurt and Munich. Following management’s denial of their requests for a pay hike, the union that represents Lufthansa pilots announced early on Thursday that they will launch a walkout.
Many people returning at the conclusion of the summer vacation would be impacted by Lufthansa’s announcement that 800 flights will be cancelled. Eurowings, the airline’s low-cost carrier, will not be impacted, it claimed. Lufthansa was accused on Thursday by the Vereinigung Cockpit union of failing to improve on their initial proposal, forcing the pilots to walk out in order to pursue their demands.
With inputs from PTI