Austrian Airlines Cancels 100+ Flights Amid Employment Dispute

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Summary

  • Many flights will be canceled on March 14 by Austrian Airlines due to employee meetings on pay and leave policy.
  • A previous surprise strike by the carrier’s workers demanding better pay resulted in 138 flights being canceled earlier this month.
  • There has been a rise in demands for improved pay and benefits among airline employees in the post-pandemic recovery phase.

Austrian Airlines will face operational disruption on March 14, canceling dozens of flights due to discussions with its employees regarding employment terms. The airline faced a surprise strike earlier this month as employees demanded better pay and leave structure.

Flight cancelations

Some Austrian Airlines passengers booked to fly on March 14 may have to make alternative arrangements as the airline has decided to cancel many flights – 110 so far – due to company meetings with some employees.

Austrian Airlines Airbus A320

Photo: Austrian Airlines

The airline is in dispute with its workers, who are demanding a better pay and leave policy, and the meeting tomorrow has been held to address these issues. The carrier has issued a statement regarding this, saying,

“The Bord works council and the vida trade union have announced another works meeting for 14th March 2024. For this reason, we unfortunately have to make adjustments to the flight schedule again. The 110 flights concerned have already been removed from the system or rescheduled and the affected passengers have been informed or rebooked.”

Previous unexpected strike

Austrian’s operations were also affected earlier this month when its workers went on a strike unannounced to negotiate “very poor pay,” among other things. The strike lasted until 17:00, and 138 flights were canceled as a result.

According to Kurier, 12,000 passengers were affected in the morning and another 3,500 in the afternoon. The cancelations on March 14 are expected to disrupt the travel plans of around 9,000 people.

Austrian Airlines Airbus A321-100 Inflight

Photo: Bjoern Wylezich | Shutterstock

The dispute centers around employees not being happy with their current remuneration, and they are asking for a 30% pay rise against a 4.5% pay increase that the airline is offering. The workers are also interested in having more vacation time included in their employment contract.

With the global aviation sector recovering, airlines are filling up their aircraft again despite ticket prices increasing. But even as the industry makes a comeback, employees are worried that increasing company revenues are not trickling down to them in terms of better pay and benefits.

While the labor agreement negotiations with the AUA have stalled so far, necessitating the meeting tomorrow, it remains to be seen if any compromise will be reached following the discussions.

Other strikes within the Lufthansa Group

While the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges to the aviation sector, airports and airlines faced a shortage of staff and industrial actions for better working conditions and salaries in the recovery phase.

Austrian Airlines isn’t the only carrier within the Lufthansa Group of airlines to face such issues. Last week, Lufthansa had to cancel around 85% of all its flights on March 7 and 8 because of a strike by its ground handling employees.

Lufthansa Airbus A320 aircraft at Franfkurt Airport FRA

Photo: RUBEN M RAMOS | Shutterstock

The airline is staring at another similar situation on March 12 and 13 after the Independent Flight Attendant Organization (Unabhängigen Flugbegleiter Organization, UFO), which represents cabin crew from Lufthansa and Lufthansa CityLine, called for a strike.

As airlines start to turn profitable in a post-pandemic recovery phase, employees are increasingly demanding that their employment contracts reflect the new financial success, often leading to industrial action. Hopefully, these issues will be resolved through successful negotiations.

Related


Lufthansa Flight Attendants Union Calls For Strike Action

Strikes are planned for next Tuesday and Wednesday in Frankfurt and Munich.

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  • Austrian Airlines Tile
    Austrian Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    OS/AUA

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Vienna International Airport

    Year Founded:
    1957

    Alliance:
    Star Alliance

    Airline Group:
    Lufthansa Group

    CEO:
    Annette Mann

    Country:
    Austria

    Region:
    Europe

    Loyalty Program:
    Miles & More



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