Escalation in the Tariff Dispute: AUA Facing Massive Flight Cancellations at Easter

PeopleOther ♦ Published: March 26, 2024; 23:27 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austrian Airlines (AUA) is on the brink of an extensive strike, which is to begin on Maundy Thursday and last 36 hours. Negotiations between the trade union vida and AUA management have so far been unsuccessful, leading to the announcement that over 400 flights will be canceled during the peak travel period at Easter. Around 50,000 passengers will be affected by the cancellations, significantly disrupting the Easter plans of many travelers.

Negotiations for AUA cabin crew collective agreement remain unclear, leading to 400 flight cancellations and 50,000 passengers affected. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Stanislav Doronenko / CC BY-SA (

The dispute revolves around salary negotiations for on-board staff. The trade union vida is demanding real wage increases and criticizes AUA's proposals as inadequate. After the company achieved record profits last year, the workforce expects appropriate recognition of their performance. AUA, on the other hand, argues that its offer is already at the limit of what is economically justifiable.

After 17 rounds of negotiations without an agreement and the premature departure from the negotiating table by the AUA board, a solution appears to be a long way off. The union accuses the company of operating with calculation and number tricks and of not having presented a serious offer. AUA, for its part, emphasizes that it has already made considerable financial concessions with its offer.

Effects on travelers

The cancellation of 400 flights is a drastic measure that could have serious consequences not only for passengers but also for AUA's image. The airline is making efforts to minimize the inconvenience for its customers by proactively informing them about rebooking and cancellation options. Nevertheless, the impending strike is likely to have a significant impact on the travel plans of thousands of passengers.

Appeal for agreement

After several difficult years, AUA has recently been on an economic upward trend again. With an increase in turnover and improved operating results in the last quarter, the airline seemed to have achieved a turnaround. However, the upcoming strike could mean a setback for the positive development and place a financial burden on the company.

Although time is of the essence, a window for a possible agreement remains open until Wednesday evening. Both the union and the AUA management emphasize their willingness to negotiate, but the differences seem to be deep. The vida union believes that an agreement is still possible if management is prepared to present an improved offer.

The upcoming strike at AUA is more than just a collective bargaining dispute; it is a test of labor-management relations at a time when the aviation industry is regaining its footing after the pandemic. The coming days will show whether a compromise can be found or whether the conflict will turn into one of the biggest strikes in AUA's history.

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