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Lufthansa strike grounds another 800 flights

Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa has canceled hundreds of more flights amid a long-running pay dispute between its pilots and management. Tuesday's walkout is affecting short-haul flights, the company has confirmed.

Following a four-day walkout last week, Lufthansa pilots on Tuesday started another two days of strike action in an attempt to force management into accepting their demands for better working conditions and a hefty pay hike.

Germany's largest carrier said Tuesday's strike was restricted to short-haul routes, forcing Lufthansa to cancel 816 out of a total of 3,000 scheduled flights during the day. It said 82,000 passengers would be affected.

The pilots had also announced their plans to strike on long haul flights on Wednesday, meaning Lufthansa looked set to ground 890 flights to affect 98,000 travelers.

No way out?

On Monday morning, management again failed to stop the industrial action organized by the pilots' union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), with a regional labor court rejecting an injunction.

Watch video 00:23

Lufthansa pilots strike Tuesday and Wednesday

Lufthansa's 5,400 pilots have been fighting for an average annual pay rise of 3.7 percent over five years, backdated to 2012.

Management for its part has offered to increase the pilots' salaries by 4.4 percent in two installments and make a one-off payment worth 1.8 months' salary.

The union rejected the latest pay offer late last Friday. It has repeatedly rebuffed bids for mediation, demanding that management make an improved offer first. It's already signaled the likelihood that strikes will continue beyond Wednesday.

hg/sgb (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

 

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