Lufthansa, Pilot Union Reach Labor Deal

Lufthansa has reached a labor agreement that would cover pilots until late 2026, potentially ending walkouts and flight delays.



August 10, 2023

DALLAS Following strife that lasted months between Lufthansa (LH) and pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit, the German airline reached a labor agreement that would cover pilots until late 2026, potentially ending walkouts and flight delays.

According to the New York Times, the disagreement between the organizations stemmed from massive delays between LH's bases, Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC). So far, LH has canceled over 1,000 flights since 2022. Furthering the disagreement, the pilot union stated early this year that it intended to initiate more walkouts if the airline failed to reach an agreement with them.

As COVID-19 travel restrictions and closures are quickly disappearing, major carriers are doing as much as they can to provide space for most, if not all, potential customers. This includes bringing stored aircraft back into service, hiring new workers, and reorganizing management systems.

Amid this summer travel season, known to be the busiest in years, LH struggles to keep scheduled flights while negotiating with pilot unions, which yields fewer opportunities for passengers willing to travel from Europe across the world.

Numerous LH flights were canceled during the 2022 summer travel season. Photo: Dirk Grothe/Airways

Working Toward an Agreement

Lufthansa's new contract will feature a pay increase of 18% for three years. Additionally, the total salary will increase by over 25% throughout the next four and a half years. These conditions will impact all 5,200 pilots working for the corporation. Overall, about 65% of members have voted in favor of the agreement.

The general collective agreement also includes more important provisions regarding working and standby times, as well as the removal of a secondary collective agreement that was previously applicable to new employees as reported by

Additionally, a resolution has been reached for 150 captains from the subsidiary Germanwings, established in 2020, who will transition to their previous roles within LH. Approximately 550 LH pilots will receive financial compensation for this transition, which opens up opportunities for future promotion to the position of captain.

Amidst a time of uncertainty for numerous European carriers and workers striving to reach an acceptable agreement, more corporations project a bright future following new labor deals and benefits. This may also provide vacation opportunities for passengers during busy travel seasons after a fast recovery from lockdown.

Featured image: Marty Basaria/Airways

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