German airline Lufthansa turned up the pressure on its employees on Thursday, complaining that it was behind schedule in its planned cost-cutting, even though the national flag carrier managed to turn in improved earnings in the third quarter, news agency AFP reported. "Our current results cannot hide the fact that we need notably better operating income to secure the company for the next generation," CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber said in a statement, adding that the airline needed to cut costs by €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) by 2006. Mayrhuber complained that Lufthansa was behind schedule on its targets for cutting labor costs. The comments appear to be aimed at turning up the heat on employees at a time when the carrier is holding delicate wage talk with 3,300 pilots. Lufthansa booked operating profit of €218 million in the July-September period, up from €200 million a year earlier. And nine-month operating earnings swung to a profit of €251 million from a year-earlier loss of €154 million.