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Strike grounds Lufthansa flights out of UAE, Gulf countries

Dubai:  All flights out of the UAE and other neighbouring Gulf countries to Germany on flag-carrier Lufthansa were cancelled for three days from Wednesday, following a crippling pilots’ strike that shut-down a major part of the airline’s operations from April 2, a senior airline official has said.

Karsten Zang, Lufthansa General Manager for UAE and Director for Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan, was quoted in the local media as saying that German flag-carrier had cancelled its thrice-daily flights from the UAE to Germany following “major disruptions” and “a lot of cancellations”.

It was reported that the last Lufthansa flight out of UAE took off on Wednesday morning, but later flights were cancelled.

However, Flight Tracker departures data on gulfnews.com site show no Lufthansa flights took off or due to take off from either Abu Dhabi or Dubai International airports bound for any German city today.

The strike also affected scheduled flights out of neighbouring Gulf countries, the official said.

A planned pilots’ walkout from April 2 to 4 was expected to affect up to 3,800 flights, Lufthansa said earlier this week. The units hit by the pilots’ walkout would normally operate some 4,300 flights over three days.

As a result of the walkout, operations were severely impaired down to just 500 short and long-haul flights during the three-day strike, the airline said.

German airport operations were also affected on March 27 as airport workers held a strike, demanding higher pay.