Deutsche Lufthansa AG said it cancelled some flights on Sunday due to technical issues, just hours before a major strike threatened to force most of Germany’s air and rail services into a standstill.

The cancellation and delays at Lufthansa are caused by technical problems at external service providers, affecting check-in and boarding in Frankfurt, the carrier said on Sunday. It will offer alternative connections and rebookings on train, it added.

Trade unions on strike

That might be easier said then done as Verdi and EVG transport and railway unions are planning industrial action that will begin at midnight for 24 hours, with the unions expecting severe disruption to travel, according to a statement. Verdi is demanding a wage raise of 10.5% for public sector workers.

Major airports including Frankfurt won’t operate on Monday. Frankfurt Airport also advised passengers changing plane to avoid the hub. Long-distance, regional and local trains operated by Deutsche Bahn and other railway will also come to a standstill, EVG said.

Verdi Hamburg on Saturday said it has made agreements with all affected companies in order to guarantee safe passage in the event of accidents, emergency landings or medical or patient transport.

European workers in public service roles have staged repeated walkouts in recent weeks demanding better pay amid record inflation and a cost of living crisis. In France, President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform has prompted violent clashes. 

The disruptions to French and German airports in particular hit the industry ahead of a peak travel period, with Easter approaching and travelers returning in droves after years of Covid-19 restrictions.