Industrial action by pilots with TUIfly and Air Berlin continues to cause problems for Germans travelling to Majorca. The work-to-rule, which started last week, led to TUIfly cancelling all 108 of its scheduled flights on Friday, which included the routes to Palma from Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Stuttgart as well as two services to Minorca.
The action is causing concern among hoteliers and transport operators, who note that there is due to be a further wave of German tourists arriving from Monday. (There are "Herbstferien" autumn half-terms throughout October; dates vary in the different states of Germany.)
German media are describing the action as probably the largest "rebellion" by crews in the history of German aviation. It stems from the financial problems experienced by Air Berlin and the consequent decision by its major shareholder Etihad to seek drastic measures in order to reduce losses. And there is also the fact that TUI and Etihad are in discussion regarding the creation of a low-cost airline. Pilots with both Air Berlin and TUIfly are concerned by what this might entail, and so are echoing similar concerns of Air Europa pilots regarding the formation of that airline's low-cost subsidiary.
Meanwhile, passengers have been none too impressed by TUIfly refusing to pay compensation, attributing the cancellations to "force majeure".
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