Delhi Airport: 700 stranded as Lufthansa cancels flights to Germany
Chaos ensued at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi with over 700 people stranded due to German carrier Lufthansa canceling 800 flights worldwide on Friday. Visuals showed large crowds gathered outside the T3 terminal as passengers and their relatives wondered about their next move. The airport premises had witnessed massive protests by Lufthansa passengers on Thursday night too.
Here's more information about the development
Late Thursday night, Lufthansa announced that it would be canceling 800 international flights due to a one-day strike by its pilots demanding appraisals. As per reports, 700 passengers and 200 relatives staged protests at the airport premises after the German carrier canceled flights from Frankfurt and Munich. Passengers staged protests at departure gates 6 and 7 outside the check-in area.
Passengers stranded at Delhi airport
Delhi | Passengers at IGI airport wait for hours for alternative flights as Germany's Lufthansa airlines cancel 800 flights amid a strike by their pilots pic.twitter.com/r19X8AjNda— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2022
Why did Lufthansa cancel its flights?
The German carrier's decision to cancel all flights due to a strike by its pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has affected 1.3 lakh passengers internationally. The union is staging an all-day protest on Friday to demand a 5.5% pay rise for all pilots.
Watch: Passengers protest against flight cancellation
Students' Strike at IGI Airport Delhi, as Lufthansa cancels two flights to Germany and they ain't finding a solution, Students are in panic as most are colleges are starting from 6th and they ain't rebooking before 10th sept. @PMOIndia@JM_Scindia @lufthansa #shameonlufthansa pic.twitter.com/dkAW8LwAPL— Kuntal parmar (@Kunnntal) September 1, 2022
Chaos, protests at airport
As per CRPF officials, 300 passengers meant to board Lufthansa's Frankfurt-bound flight and 400 passengers meant to board its Munich-bound flight got to know about its cancellation at 10:15 pm. In the resulting chaos, people protested against Lufthansa for not providing them with a full refund, accommodation, or even an alternate flight. The protests also slowed down traffic movement around midnight.
Watch: Large crowds gather outside T-3
Alternate flights put students in a limbo
Students flying to Germany complained that alternate flights being offered by Lufthansa were not suited to their college timelines. "Students are in panic as most have colleges starting from September 6th and Lufthansa isn't rebooking before September 10th," a passenger tweeted. Another student wrote, "My flight is canceled...College starts this Monday and they are offering me a flight for September 11."
Pilot union strike may continue
According to Lufthansa officials, flights may be canceled over the weekend as well. The group presented the union with a fresh offer to raise their basic pay but according to VC, the offer is not sufficient. "An entry-level co-pilot will receive more than 18% additional basic pay, while a captain will get 5%," Lufthansa said, according to ANI.