German carrier, Lufthansa Airline, says it has made alternative plans to airlift its Nigerian passengers out of the Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja international airports as the industrial action called by Verdi Union in Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne and Bremen airports commences from the early hours of yesterday.
The Verdi trade union strike would see the shut- down of ground handling services, the support services and also part of the airport fire brigade staff embarking on an industrial action for improved salaries and other remuneration. On Monday night, scores of passengers who were not duly informed on the status of their flights were left stranded at the Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt airports as the airline had gone ahead to cancel flights emanating from Nigeria at about 8.30pm.
Daily Sun learnt that Lufthansa being a member of the Star Alliance, a global partnership that allows the code-sharing and transfer of passengers among member airlines in times of crisis, has communicated through letters to affected passengers of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja services that they would be airlifted out of Nigeria on partner airlines.
But the alternative plan, Daily Sun learnt, would benefit passengers booked on transit through the Frankfurt Airport on Lufthansa Airline to other destinations in Europe, America and Asia. These passengers could now opt to fly through EgyptAir, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines or Turkish Airlines, who belong to the Star Alliance Group and fly into Nigeria with a code-sharing deal with Lufthansa Airlines. Passengers with Frankfurt as their final destination (and they constitute only about 20 per cent of the Lufthansa Nigerian passengers) would, however, wait till the strike is called off today, Daily Sun learnt.
An official of the airline in Lagos told Daily Sun that, “Lufthansa is a member of Star Alliance and we have gone ahead to communicate the alternative arrangements to passengers.”
According to local.de, a German online medium, Lufthansa said it will cancel “more than 800” flights on Tuesday as public sector workers walk out on strike for more pay, crippling major airports like Frankfurt.
“Due to this strike tomorrow (Tuesday), Lufthansa will have to cancel 800 out of the 1,600 scheduled flights, including 58 long-haul flights,” Lufthansa said in a statement, adding that around 90,000 passengers would be affected.