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Lufthansa pilots' strike continues

Hundreds of flights have been canceled, affecting some 100,000 passengers, as the strike action by Lufthansa pilots brings the airline to a grinding halt. Further cancellations have been signaled for Friday and Saturday.

Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa has announced hundreds more flight cancellations fpr Friday and Saturday.

The strike affects flights departing from German airports, including long-haul flights. The industrial action is expected to greatly disrupt services in the big Lufthansa hubs Frankfurt and Munich. Lufthansa announced on Thursday it would cancel a further 830 short-and medium-haul flights on Friday.

This means that just over a quarter of the airline's schedule will be affected Friday, hitting more than 100,000 travelers. Late Thursday the Cockpit union announced that the strike would continue for a fourth day on Saturday and affect all the long-haul flights from Germany scheduled for that day. 

Information numbers

For passengers wanting to know if their flights are affected, Lufthansa has installed a free service number 0800-8506070 and details are also available on their website. Within Germany, passengers can convert their flight ticket into a rail ticket with Deutsche Bahn.

Other Lufthansa group airlines such as Eurowings, Swiss and Austrian Airlines aren't affected by the strike.  

The latest strike is the 14th since April 2014 in the long-running dispute. It comes as Lufthansa restructures to meet increasing competition from Gulf airlines and European budget carriers. 

The Lufthansa pilots on strike are demanding a pay rise of an average of 3.66 percent per year, retroactive for the past five years. The union says pilots have endured a wage freeze over that time and suffered a "significant loss of purchasing power" due to inflation, while Lufthansa has made billions in profits. It had offered a 2.5 percent wage hike.

Lufthansa expects the strike to cost between seven and nine million euros ($7.4 to $9.6 million) a day.

at/cho (rtr, dpa)

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