Lufthansa cancels 912 flights as pilots strike enters Day 2

The strike by Lufthansa pilots in support of a pay demand is in its second day on Thursday, with the German flagship carrier cancelling 912 flights for the day.


The strike has hit the travel plans of some 100,000 long-and short-haul passengers.


The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) Pilots’ Union announced that the strike, the 14th in a dispute stretching back to April 2014 would be extended to a third day on Friday, from the two originally planned.


The stoppage, aimed at pressing demands for a backdated pay increase of 22 per cent over the five years to April 2017, grounded 876 flights on Wednesday.


In total, 215,000 passengers have been affected over the first two days.


Report says the Friday action is likely to hit primarily short-haul flights taking off within Germany.


The company said it planned to service all its long-haul destinations on Friday.


Airports across Germany were noticeably quieter than usual, with Munich badly hit as well as the main hub near Frankfurt.


Group human relations head Bettina Volkens repeated a call for the union to enter into arbitration with Europe’s largest airline.


However VC spokesman Joerg Handwerg rejected arbitration, saying pilots had been “uncoupled from changes in pay in Germany for the past five years” and that they were no longer prepared to be left on the sidelines.


Chaos was avoided by many Lufthansa passengers simply staying away from airports.


The company was providing ongoing information on its website and arranging alternatives for stranded passengers.

Dana Air Pilots Go On Strike, Passengers Stranded

Dana Air pilots have gone on strike in protest of the non-payment of their salaries, grounding the airline’s operations and leaving hundreds of passengers stranded nationwide.

“The strike started this morning and passengers that were supposed to travel this morning are stranded,” a source at the airport said.

According to the source, the airline had continued to sell tickets to passengers earlier today in the hope that the dispute would be resolved.

It was gathered that the airline has, however, started making refunds with some passengers booking flights with other airlines.

Credit: Punch

How Pilots, Toddler, Officers’ Wives Died

Hours after the ill-fated Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Donnier-228 aircraft crashed shortly after it took off, it was exclusively gathered that three of the civilians on board were wives of Air Force personnel and a toddler.

The aircraft, with call sign NAF030, had on Saturday morning crashed into a house at Ribadu Cantonment, Kaduna killing all seven people on board.

Before the plane crashed, the Abuja-bound aircraft, which took off from Kaduna military airfield at about 6:45am, was said to have floundered in the air and then crashed on top of a residential building.

While the pilot was identified as Squadron Leader Adekunle Suara, a flight instructor at the NAF 301 Flying School in Kaduna, the co-pilot was Flying Officer Kehinde Oluwatosin Olaniran.

Although only one civilian, Hassana Usman, a mother of two, was identified, the names of four other persons remain shrouded in secrecy.

However, it was gathered that the passengers on the plane were made up of two pilots, an airhostess, a technician, two women and the five-year-old child.

The two women were members of the Nigerian Air Force Wives Association (NAFOWA), a group which is the exclusive preserve of officers’ wives in the NAF.

Although they were not part of the mission, it was gathered that they were allowed on board as passengers because it is one of the perks military officers and their spouses enjoy.

In an interview, a senior NAF officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, debunked claims that the aircraft was hired by civilians.

He said: “Contrary to claims, the aircraft was not on charter service, rather it was going on a mission to Abuja.

“The civilians on board were wives of our officers. They only joined the aircraft because they were on the same destination with that of the pilots.”

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4 Pilots Captured As Helicopter Crashes in Rebel Held Area

Syrian rebels have captured several government airmen after their helicopter crashed in a rebel-held area of the country’s northwest, activists have said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that four crew members had been taken prisoner near Jabal al-Zawiya, about 10km north of the town of Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province.

Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman said opposition fighters, including members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, had taken most of the crew prisoner.

Another airman survived the crash but was reportedly killed by his captors, and the fate of a suspected sixth airman was unknown, the observatory said.

Syria’s state news agency confirmed that a helicopter had crashed in Idlib after a mechanical problem and said the authorities were looking for the crew.

An amateur video posted online showed rebels inspecting the wreckage of the helicopter, which had rolled onto its side on a rocky hill. The aircraft’s blue undercarriage was partially torn and the nose badly damaged.

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