Germany's largest airline, Lufthansa, has canceled around 300 flights in Frankfurt, with 26,000 passengers stranded. Berlin has joined in and Munich will follow shortly.
The strike is causing Lufthansa millions of euros in losses. Cabin crew members in Frankfurt and Berlin are currently protesting over their pay and conditions, with Munich set to join them shortly.
Cabin crew members are demanding a 5% increase in salary, but the company is only prepared to offer them 3.5%, along with longer hours. The employees have refused this offer.
It is not only salaries that are in question. Germany's Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO), also wants guarantees against outsourcing of jobs and the use of temporary employees. The Union is also concerned about a 2.5 billion euro cost cutting exercise planned by the airline to fight rising fuel costs and competition from low-cost and Gulf airlines.
Frankfurt is the third-busiest airport in Europe, and has remained closed for several hours due to the strike. Tegel airport in Berlin has also been affected.
UFO members are also calling for the country’s second-largest airport, Munich, to join the strike at 11:00 GMT.
While Lufthansa has not yet given estimates of the losses triggered by the congestion at the airports, the air carrier has announced that only a few long-distance flights will be affected by the strike.
However almost half of short- and medium-distance flights have been canceled.
This follows a crippling strike at Frankfurt airport last Friday.
Reportedly Lufthansa also has to find the money to pay for 17 billion euros worth of planes they have ordered.