Frankfurt Airport Hit By Fifth Day Of Strikes

February 22, 2012

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Strikes at Frankfurt airport, Germany's largest, are expected to cause 165 flight cancellations on their fifth day in a week, with no sign of union representatives or airport operator Fraport backing down.

Just fewer than 200 apron control workers are striking over a pay dispute with Fraport.

The walkouts began last Thursday and, after workers returned to work for the weekend, started again at 0400 GMT on Monday. The latest walkout is due to continue until 2200 GMT on Friday.

Fraport has said it could hold out for a long time if strikes continued.

Lufthansa, which accounts for more than half of flights at Frankfurt airport, has already cancelled hundreds of flights a day because of the walkouts.

A Lufthansa spokeswoman said the first four days of the strike have so far cost it a high double-digit million euro sum in turnover. Analysts previously estimated the first two strike days had crimped turnover by about EUR€40 million (USD$53 million).

Lufthansa had revenue of EUR€27 billion in 2010.

Lufthansa's website showed just over 140 cancelled flights on Wednesday. The airline has said all intercontinental flights will take place this week.

Fraport has called on the GdF union to end the strikes and resume talks and said it will not be forced to agree to what it said were "unreasonable" demands for pay increases of 50-70 percent. The union has shown no sign of backing down.