German flag-carrier Lufthansa has cancelled 110 flights out of Munich today after pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit called a third strike in two weeks.
Thousands of passengers are affected by the action at the airport, Lufthansa’s second largest base.
The strike will run until 17:00 today, with around 320 flights to and from the airport expected to be disrupted during that time.
The pilots want to increase pressure on Lufthansa in negotiations over an early retirement scheme.
They held a strike at its budget carrier Germanwings at the end of August, followed by a walkout at Frankfurt last week.
Thomas Klühr, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board, Finances & Hub Munich, said: “This strike will cause severe inconveniences for our passengers, especially during the final holiday week in Bavaria amid the traditional traffic peak as many travellers return home.
“We deeply regret that our passengers again have to bear the brunt of uncompromising measures undertaken by the VC union.
“We will do everything in Munich to ease the impact on our passengers. I explicitly want to thank those pilots who will be flying tomorrow despite the walkout and thereby enabling long-haul flights from Munich to continue.”
As a precautionary measure, Lufthansa has reserved several hundred hotel rooms in
Munich, and nearby, for passengers stuck at the airport.
For passengers in transit but without a visa to enter Germany, Lufthansa is organising overnight accommodation facilities in the transit area in cooperation with the FMG Airport Operator in Munich.
On Wednesday, Munich airport staff will be providing strike-bound passengers with early morning refreshments, snacks and telecommunication possibilities.
Mobile information stands will also be set up and capacities increased at ticket counters.
Vereinigung Cockpit represents about 5,400 of Lufthansa Group’s 9,000 pilots and the previous two strikes have cost the airline more than £8 million in operating profit and have hit bookings.
Lufthansa, which has called on the pilots to return to the negotiating table, said the strike would not result in long-haul flights being cancelled, although there could be some delays.
Long-haul flights are the most lucrative flights for Lufthansa.