Many cancellations in the first quarter: Lufthansa is the “cancellation king” in Europe

Many failures in the first quarter
Lufthansa is the “cancellation king” of Europe

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Lufthansa has just reported a loss of almost 850 million euros in the first quarter, when it is also “crowned” as Europe’s airline with the most canceled flights. The numerous strikes are leading to a doubling of flight cancellations compared to the previous year.

The German airline Lufthansa had the most flights canceled in the first quarter of 2024 compared to Europe. The airline canceled 5.99 percent of its flights in the first three months of the year, and 2.97 percent in the same period in 2023, as the legal service provider Flightright announced. Overall, Germany performed poorly in the ranking. The reason for this is the repeated strikes in the first quarter.

“The current data clearly shows that Lufthansa is performing worst in Europe when it comes to flight cancellations,” explained Jan-Frederik Arnold, Managing Director of Flightright. According to the portal, a total of 6,803 Lufthansa flights were canceled. The Dutch airline KLM followed in second place with a clear gap and a cancellation rate of 2.27 percent.

The number of strikes has significantly exceeded the level of previous years, explained Flightright and in the process clearly criticized the airline: The strikes signaled “Lufthansa’s inability to get its internal problems under control.” The air travelers are the ones who suffer.

Four German airports “at the forefront”

The Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt am Main and Munich also took the first two places in the ranking of flight cancellations. In Frankfurt, 5.7 percent of flights were canceled (previous year: 2.61 percent), in Munich 3.7 percent (2023: 3.57 percent). Berlin and Düsseldorf took third and fourth place. Across Germany, 4.04 percent of the 167,675 flights were canceled in the first quarter. In Austria, which takes second place in the ranking, it was 1.38 percent.

In recent months, both Lufthansa’s cabin and ground staff have stopped working. The company has now agreed on a new collective agreement with both negotiating unions. There were also flight cancellations because security staff at the airports also went on strike. However, this person is not employed by the airline.

Lufthansa reported a quarterly loss of 849 million euros on Monday, citing “various strikes”. According to Lufthansa, the tariff disputes will also impact its operating result in the second quarter from April to June, probably by 100 million euros.

Arnold warned air travelers to prepare for further delays and cancellations, especially during the peak travel season in summer. Strikes at other airlines cannot be ruled out. “In addition, the delivery problems of new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus could lead to bottlenecks in aircraft fleets, which really throw flight schedules into disarray,” he explained.

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