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Business

Pilot Strike Leaves European Passengers Stranded

A pilot strike at a regional subsidiary of Germany's Lufthansa caused the cancellations of 140 flights on Friday, Aug. 8. With the strike ending at noon air traffic is now set to return to normal.

Would-be passengers sitting on luggage

The strike has left travelers in many airports wondering when they'll reach their destinations

Only 30 out of 170 flights of Lufthansa's wholly owned subsidiary Cityline were taking off as scheduled earlier today, but the strike was over by noon, the airline said.

A spokeswoman for the Cockpit pilots union said earlier today that the strike would end as planned after 36 hours, adding that the union wanted to give the airline time to present a new pay offer.

The strike, which began at midnight Thursday, hit all 15 airports used by Cityline, prompting hundreds of cancellations to domestic and European destinations.

The pilots demand a "substantial pay increase" without specifying a particular raise, but they have rejected Cityline's most recent offer of a 5.5 percent raise for 18 months coupled with a one-off payment of 5,000 euros to 7,000 euros ($7,584 to $10,617).

Differing salary opinions

Wolfgang Mayrhuber

Mayrhuber has had his hands full in recent weeks

Lufthansa CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber has called upon the pilots to compare their salary levels and working conditions with the competition.

"They already earn in the range of 20 to 25 percent more than other pilots in regional air traffic," Mayrhuber said.

Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and Dusseldorf airports were worst affected by the strike, which was aimed at securing the same pay rates for Cityline pilots as for those at Lufthansa.

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