Pilots back wage deal with Lufthansa, averting fresh strikes

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Members of the German pilots’ union VC have voted by a large majority to back a wage deal with Lufthansa, a spokesperson for the union told Reuters on Thursday.

This eliminates the risk of a pilots’ strike for now at the German flag-carrier.

After a chaotic summer 2022 due to walkouts over pay, the company negotiated a significant wage increase with VC.

Over the next three years, basic pay is to rise by at least 18% in three stages, according to a letter from Lufthansa to employees seen by Reuters.

Including lump-sum payments already agreed to last year and an additional inflation compensation bonus, captains are to see their wages go up by at least 25%. For co-pilots, the increase ranges from 33% to over 50%.

“By a clear majority of 65.5%, the Lufthansa pilots have spoken out in favour of the wage deal presented,” VC’s Marcel Groels said in a post on the social media platform LinkedIn.

Lufthansa added that pilots would also receive a guaranteed 10 free days a month to allow them to better plan their free time.

“This agreement is not easy for us economically,” said Lufthansa human resources head Michael Niggemann. “But the long running period creates planning stability for Lufthansa in coming years, especially for our intended growth in long-haul.”

(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach, Writing by Rachel More, Editing by Thomas Escritt and David Evans)