[Watch] Hundreds Stranded At Delhi’s IGI Airport As Lufthansa Cancels Flights Due To Pilots’ Strike

New Delhi: The departure area of Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport was a picture of chaos late on Thursday night after nearly 150 people, including family members and relatives of passengers, protested against the cancellation of two international flights of Lufthansa Airlines without prior intimation, leaving 700 passengers stranded, the IGI unit of Delhi Police said on Friday.

The German airline had to cancel hundreds of flights and leave holidaymakers stranded after pilots walked out. Labour union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) had said on Wednesday that pay talks with Lufthansa had failed, calling on pilots at both the passenger airline and at Lufthansa Cargo to go on strike. VC is demanding a 5.5% pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots and automatic inflation compensation thereafter. Lufthansa has offered a total of 900 euros ($901.35) more in basic pay per month in two stages over an 18-month term as well as an agreement guaranteeing cockpit staff a minimum fleet size, The Indian Express reported.

The people dispersed after senior police officers, including deputy commissioner of police (IGI Airport) Tanu Sharma, arrived there and intervened to open channels of communication between the airlines and passengers that eventually normalised the situation at gate number 1 of the departure area, the police were quoted as saying.

The agitated family members, relatives and friends of the stranded passengers were demanding a refund of money or alternate arrangements to be made for the passengers, who were present inside the terminal building.

The two flights that were cancelled were LH761 (Delhi to Frankfurt) and LH763 (Delhi to Munich).

The flight scheduled for Frankfurt had to carry 300 passengers and was to depart from Terminal 3 of the IGI Airport at 2:50 am on Friday. The other flight which was scheduled to carry 400 passengers to Munich was to depart from the same terminal at 1:10 am.

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