Lufthansa to cancel 3,800 flights as pilots go on strike | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 31.03.2014
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Lufthansa to cancel 3,800 flights as pilots go on strike

Lufthansa airline has said it will cancel most of its flights later this week during a three-day stoppage by its cockpit crews. It’s the second strike affecting Germany’s biggest airline within just a week.

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Strike downs most Lufthansa flights

As a result of the planned strike by pilots' union Cockpit, about 3,800 flights would be cancelled on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Lufthansa airline announced Monday.

During the three-day work stoppage, only about 500 Lufthansa short- and long-haul flights would take place, the airline said in a statement, adding that an estimated 425,000 passengers would be affected.

Last week, the union called the strike following a vote among pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and the company's budget airline Germanwings which found a majority of workers in favor of industrial action. The labor dispute centers on a demand for higher wages, with Cockpit pilots' union claiming Lufthansa had failed to come up with a negotiable offer during two years of pay negotiations.

On Monday, Lufthansa personnel chief Bettina Volkens said the airline deeply deplored that the pilots' union was unwilling to reach a settlement without industrial action. Lufthansa had made a reasonable pay offer, which had also included early retirement for older pilots, she added.

Lufthansa is struggling to carve out a profit amid tough competition from low-cost European carriers and expanding government-sponsored Gulf airlines. Last week, the German flag carrier had to cancel hundreds of flights when public sector workers went on strike, partly paralyzing seven German airports.

uhe/tj (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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