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Cabin crew could prolong walkout at Lufthansa’s Germanwings

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A Eurowings aircraft taxis near the main terminal on December 30, 2019 at Tegel airport in Berlin, as the cabin crew at Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings began a planned three-day strike. – As well as demanding higher wages, especially for entry-level jobs, the German cabin crew union UFO is seeking better benefits and easier routes into long-term contracts. Set to be folded into Eurowings over the long term, Germanwings operates flights on behalf of the larger Lufthansa subsidiary. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

Cabin crew at Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings began a planned three-day strike Monday with their union warning the industrial dispute could last longer.

Daniel Flohr, deputy head of air stewards’ union UFO, told public broadcaster ZDF “we could prolong it at short notice”, failing concessions from bosses, although “we don’t want that”.

A live list on the carrier’s website showed 182 flights between major German cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Munich were slashed as UFO called members off the job.

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Some connections to neighbouring Austria and Switzerland, including Zurich and Vienna, were also cut.

Set to be folded into Eurowings over the long term, Germanwings operates flights on behalf of the larger Lufthansa subsidiary.

Around 15 percent of Eurowings flights over the three-day period were affected by the walkout, a company spokesman told AFP.

The situation at major airports was “calm” with “no queues,” he said, as many passengers had been able to book on trains or other Lufthansa group airlines.

“People were well informed” about the strike, the spokesman added. “We hope things stay this stable.”

Frankfurt airport — Germany’s largest — also said on its website Monday was a “normal day” with “occasional short waits at security checks”.

Germanwings bosses judge the strike over rules governing part-time work unjustified.

The dispute has already seen a brief “warning strike” at four Lufthansa subsidiaries, while the group’s flagship airline suffered a two-day walkout affecting 1,500 flights and 200,000 passengers in November.

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