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Airline: Some Flights Canceled, But Passengers Being Accomodated

March 4, 1985

LONDON (AP) _ A strike by U.S. ground crews has forced Pan American World Airways to cancel a number of international flights, but passengers are being accomodated on other flights and there has been little disruption, officials say.

″It has gone better than we expected,″ Oswald Kuhn, weekend marketing and reservations director for Pan Am in Frankfurt said. ″The passengers have been very friendly, polite and understanding.″

Because the strike is taking place in the off-season for world travel, the airline in many capitals been able to combine flights and avoid bumping passengers. In the instances where some passengers can’t be booked with Pan Am, they are re-booked on other airlines, whose flights also are far from full.

The airline was forced to ground most scheduled service originating in the United States, where 5,753 mechanics, baggage handlers, flight dispatchers and food service workers began a strike Thursday after rejecting a 20-percent wage increase tied to increased productivity and reduced benefits. Pilots and flight attendants have been honoring the picket lines.

Some flights originating outside the United States have been canceled, too, because not enough planes and flight crews have flown from America to keep the schedule operating.

-In London, a company spokesman said four of seven daily flights were operating, with all passengers being accomodated either by Pan Am or others.

-Paris’ single flight to New York Sunday went on schedule.

-In Rome, the one flight to New York Sunday did not fly, but its passengers were carried by Alitalia and TWA.

-In Frankfurt, two of three scheduled flights to America Sunday were canceled, but all passengers were accomodated on the third - a jumbo jet which left two hours late with all but six seats filled.

-In Vienna, passengers to New York Saturday were given tickets on other airlines and had to fly via London, Frankfurt or Zurich.

-In Sydney, three-times-weekly non-stop flights to Los Angeles have been going but flights via New Zealand and Honolulu were canceled. Four of Pan Am’s seven weekly flights into Australia have been grounded.

-In Tokyo, five of nine incoming flights were canceled Monday and three of seven outgoing flights were canceled. But Katsuro Isa, manager for public relations and sales, said arrival and departure times have not been affected. All passengers are being accomodated.

One exception to the pattern was Manila, where last Friday, a flight crew refused to work out of sympathy with the domestic U.S. strike.

All passengers were booked on Northwest or Philippine Air Lines, said a spokesman who declined to be identified. The plane remained at the airport until Monday morning, when it left on its regular flight after the crew agreed to work.

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