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Lufthansa's Woes Not Over as Pilots Threaten Walkout

Pilots for German air carrier Lufthansa have said they plan warning strikes in the coming days, in a bid for improved employee representation during contract negotiations.

Lufthansa planes lined up to start

A backlog in maintenance has kept many planes grounded

A pilots' strike, which could see up to 5,000 flyers walk off the job sometime this week, would mean an even slower return to normal for Lufthansa, in the wake of a work stoppage by ground crew members last week.

As a result of a maintenance backlog due to ground crew strike, some 130 flights were slated to be canceled on Monday, Aug. 4, Lufthansa spokesman Michael Lamberty said. A pilot's strike would further hinder the airline's efforts to get back to a normal flight schedule.

Strikes 'very probable'

On Friday, Lufthansa had cut a deal to end a five-day strike by the Verdi services union. The new tariff accord allows for a two-step pay hike of 7.4 percent by 2009.

Eurowings logo

Eurowings pilots could join in the strikes

Now Lufthansa pilots plan to walk out ahead of tariff talks, Markus Kirschneck, spokesman for the pilots' union Cockpit told the Associated Press. There has been no official decision, Kirschneck said, but called the likelihood of warning strikes “very probable.”

The Lufthansa pilots are seeking company-wide employee representation, something the company has refused for years. A spokesman for Lufthansa told AP he had no information about warning strikes.

Cityline, Eurowings pilots could join

Some 1,100 pilots at Lufthansa subsidiaries Cityline and Eurowings could also join in the strikes. They are demanding compensation for the lack of a pay hike in last years' negotiations, as well as appropriate shares in company results.

The last strike by Cityline and Eurowings pilots, which lasted 36 hours, led to the cancellation of 1,000 flights.

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