Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

Lufthansa Grounds Flights Due to Software Problem

1 year ago

Lufthansa has suffered an “IT outage,” prompting the German airline group to delay and cancel all its flights.

“Currently, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are affected by an IT outage,” the company said in a social media post on Wednesday morning. “This is causing flight delays and cancellations. We regret the inconvenience this is causing our passengers.”

The software error is affecting its global network. Lufthansa also operates Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings.

The airline is now investigating whether the incident is related to a cyber attack on fellow European airline SAS, according to Bloomberg.

Various Swedish companies have recently been hit by presumed cyber attacks, including broadcaster SVT which said a group called “Anonymous Sudan” had taken credit for the attack posting on Telegram that Swedish media would be attacked as a result of Koran burnings in Sweden.

UPDATE: The airline later said the disruption was caused by construction work in the Frankfurt region.

Airlines

Eurowings Pilots to Strike After Wage Talks Collapse

1 year ago

The Lufthansa Group cannot catch a break. Pilots at its budget subsidiary, Eurowings, will go on strike Thursday unless a last minute deal on wages can be reached.

Pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit said Tuesday that wage negotiations had “failed” and called for a one-day strike on October 6. The move came after 10 rounds of talks between the union and Eurowings without an agreement, Vereinigung Cockpit said.

eurowings at stuttgart-airport
(Eurowings)

The strike would be the second to hit the Lufthansa Group in as many months. Pilots grounded more than 800 flights at Lufthansa when they struck on September 2. Additional one-day industrial actions planned for later in September were averted when the airline and Vereinigung Cockpit reached a deal on wages.

The industrial actions come after a rough summer for airlines and travelers in Europe. Staffing issues at airports and airlines, as well as strikes at several carriers including bankrupt SAS, made flying on the continent a challenge for many. Adding to the woes was strong travel demand and full flights that made it difficult to reaccommodate disrupted flyers.

“The return to full normalization in terms of personnel, in terms of reliability, punctuality and our products … we believe we will reach this phase next year,” Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr said in August.

Eurowings is the 11th largest airline in Europe and is scheduled to operate 507 flights on Thursday, according to Diio by Cirium schedules. Its operations are concentrated in Germany with large bases in Dusseldorf, Cologne-Bonn, Hamburg, and Stuttgart.

Airlines

Lufthansa and Eurowings Cancel More Than 1,000 Flights in July

2 years ago

Lufthansa and Eurowings have cancelled more than 1,000 flights in July as airport staffing issues take a toll on air travel in Europe this summer.

Lufthansa has cut 900 domestic Germany and European flights in July, and its discount affiliate Eurowings “several hundred flights” in order to stabilize their operations, Eurowings said Wednesday. Lufthansa’s cuts are concentrated on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and represent 5 percent of weekend system capacity.

“The upcoming summer will undoubtedly be a major operational challenge for the whole industry,” Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr warned in May. “We are maximally flexible can adapt to changes immediately, and we have improved our operational processes even further wherever feasible. But we’re also fully aware that many partners, such as airports, air traffic control, caterers, are currently struggling with significant staff shortages.”

(Kevin Hackert/Flickr)

Amsterdam and London have born the brunt of Europe’s airport and air traffic control staffing issues in recent weeks. KLM was forced to fly empty planes to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on June 4 after issues at the airport led to overcrowded facilities and cancelled flights. British Airways has cut its schedule at London Heathrow by 10 percent through October in response to what it says is understaffing by the airport operator. And EasyJet cancelled hundreds of flights over the weekend of June 4 due to its own operational woes.

Lufthansa and Eurowings will notify passengers immediately and rebook them if possible, the airlines said. They also recommended that German travelers use the country’s rail system to travel to either the Frankfurt or Munich airports if their domestic flight is cancelled.

Airlines

Lufthansa Accelerates Recovery on Strong Demand

2 years ago

The Lufthansa Group plans to return to its pre-pandemic level of flying sooner than expected, CEO Carsten Spohr said Tuesday.

“Until now we assumed that we would not fully return to pre-crisis levels before the middle of this decade. But in view of the present strong demand dynamic, this forecast may prove too conservative, and we may well return to pre-crisis capacity levels earlier than planned,” he said at the group’s Annual General Meeting.

A fully-recovered Lufthansa Group, which includes its namesake airline plus Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, and Swiss International Air Lines, would be a big boost to the travel industry. Prior to the crisis, the group was the second largest in Europe with a 10 percent share of capacity on the continent.

The group plans to fly 85 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity in 2022.

Read Carsten Spohr's Speech