Lufthansa Cabin Crew Strike Threat Removed as Labor Deal Sealed

  • Accord terms to be outlined July 5 after details completed
  • Union says mediation produced ‘comprehensive result’

Deutsche Lufthansa AG struck a deal with its cabin crew union over pay and benefits, eliminating a major strike threat and removing a roadblock to Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr’s efforts to reorganize the German airline.

Mediation led by former Social Democratic Party Chairman Matthias Platzeck achieved “comprehensive results,” and both sides have accepted the agreement, the union UFO said Thursday in a statement. Some details still have to be concluded, so contract terms won’t be announced before a July 5 press conference in Berlin, it said.

“You can imagine we would only accept a result that preserves the needs of our members,” Nicoley Baublies, who heads the negotiations for the union, said in the statement.

Flight attendants and pilots have held strikes in the past two years in a dispute over pay, benefits and retirement that was exacerbated by unions’ concerns about Lufthansa’s strategy for developing the Eurowings low-cost arm. The carrier is still in talks with pilots, targeting an agreement by the end of July. The cabin-crew deal reduces pressure on Lufthansa as the industry grapples with the potential effects of last week’s U.K. vote to leave the European Union and a terrorism attack Tuesday at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

Lufthansa rose 1.2 percent to 10.56 euros as of 3:09 p.m. in Frankfurt, valuing the airline at 4.92 billion euros ($5.46 billion). That pared the stock’s decline this year to 28 percent, the third-worst performance on the Bloomberg Europe Transportation Index.

Strikes by cabin crews and pilots, including the longest ever walkouts at the six-decade-old airline, reduced group operating profit in 2014 and 2015 by a combined 463 million euros.

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