Eurowings Pilots Plan 3-Day Strike Monday
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Eurowings Pilots Plan 3-Day Strike Monday

DALLAS – The pilot collective group of Lufthansa Group’s budget airline, Eurowings (EW), has decided to execute a 3-day cockpit staff strike this Monday.

The strike action comes after failed negotiations between the carrier and Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), the pilots’ defender association, for a reduction in the workload of the employees in the cockpit.

This strike has been scheduled to take place from October 17, 2022, at 00:00 a.m. to October 19, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. on the great majority of EW flights leaving to and from the airline’s main hubs: Düsseldorf (DUS), Cologne (CGN), and Munich (MUC), among others.

The core demands of VC for Eurowings are related to the ongoing increase in workload and bad conditions of the cockpit staff on flights. To solve this, the pilot community is requesting to limit the maximum flight duty times and extend rest periods, as those are surpassing considerably the legal barrier imposed by the European authorities.

Matthias Baier, press spokesman and board member of the Cockpit Association, stated that “This strike would not be necessary if Eurowings negotiated with us on an equal footing. The completely inadequate offers leave the employees no other choice than to express their dissatisfaction with the workload in their airline due to a strike and to build up pressure.”

Marcel Gröls, chairman of the collective bargaining policy of the Cockpit Association, is positive about a future agreement but is certain that “The employer side has to move now” against the German airline.

The pandemic forced airlines to reduce their staff both in air and ground operations, creating issues in distributing the workload among remaining employees. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

Strikes: a More Common Sight this Year

Eurowings is not the first airline to experience employee strikes in 2022. This is a phenomenon that has been repeating itself three times in Europe, where the quickly recovered summer demand for flights after the pandemic has been creating big problems for carriers that cut their staff numbers in 2020.

Since the increased demand has not been balanced with the recruitment of new experienced employees, airlines and ANSPs prefer to harshly distribute the workload among the staff, extending their working hours without modification to salaries and creating bad working conditions for pilots, cabin crew, and ground handlers.

In 2022, airlines such as Lufthansa (LH), Ryanair (FR), and British Airways (BA), along with the Polish Air Navigation Service Agency (PANSA) and French aviation, have all suffered work strikes that have ended both in a good and a bad reputation for the companies, depending on the cooperation of the carriers and labor unions.

Featured Image: Eurowings Airbus A320-200 (D-AEWL): Alberto Cucini/Airways

Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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