Lufthansa Pilots’ Strike Impacts Gulf Flights

Half of all long-haul flights are affected as group unveils details of low-cost long-haul division



Lufthansa has cancelled 51 long-haul flights today in the latest 24-hour strike from pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit.

They include four services from Frankfurt to the Gulf: LH618 to Abu Dhabi, LH620 to Doha, LH630 to Dubai and LH634 to Kuwait.

Passengers can change or cancel their flight free of charge. All Lufthansa short and medium-haul flights as well as flights operated by the Lufthansa Group airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti are not affected.

Lufthansa’s loss will be to Gulf carriers’ gain with Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad, in tandem with partner Air Berlin, likely to scoop up traffic.

On Wednesday, the German group unveiled details of its low-cost, long-haul division, which will take the Eurowings branding and be operated by SunExpress Deutschland. The latter will provide the cockpit and crew.

Eurowings will begin operations towards the end of next year with a fleet of three A330-200 twin jets configured for 310 passengers. In a few years’ time the plan is to increase fleet size to seven A330-200s.

Gulf travellers are unlikely to see the aircraft however, as Eurowings flights will depart from Cologne and serve holiday destinations.