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Union strikes to ground more Lufthansa flights in what could be worst day of dispute

More than 900 Lufthansa flights are to be grounded on Thursday due to the UFO cabin crew strikes. The airliner's CEO said the company would not cede to the union's demands as 100,000 passengers are affected.

German airliner Lufthansa is expected to ground more than 900 flights on Thursday after two legal injunctions filed against the striking UFO cabin crew union were dismissed.

More than 100,000 passengers are affected by Thursday's cancellation of 933 flights, which could mark the worst day of on-going strikes.

Some 330,000 passengers have been stranded and 2,800 flights cancelled since the UFO union went on strike on November 6.

Lufthansa's cabin crew union launched the longest-lasting cabin crew strike in the airliner's history after negotiations on early retirement benefits and working conditions failed.

Germany's largest airport in Frankfurt, along with Munich and Dusseldorf airports, have witnessed the most disruptions to scheduled flights.

Lufthansa attempted to settle the dispute Monday by offering the union better conditions, including improved bonuses and retirement provisions.

However, UFO rejected the offer, saying it was unacceptable.

Watch video 02:27

Lufthansa under pressure | DW News

Union representatives said they would only restart talks if the German airliner adequately recognized the workers' demands.

"Otherwise we would have to explain to our colleagues why we were ready for talks now when nothing has changed," said UFO chief Nicoley Baublies.

A spokeswoman for Lufthansa said it was debating on appealing two court decisions that effectively allowed the strikes to continue.

"The demands for the strike were not clearly defined," the spokeswoman said.

Carsten Spohr, the airliner's chief executive, said Lufthansa would not give ground to the union, saying "each day of strike is one too many."

The UFO strikes are expected to last until Friday.

ls/jm (AFP, dpa)

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