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World

Day Three of Lufthansa Strike Affects Thousands of Passengers

The carrier also announced the cancellation of another 137 long-haul flights scheduled for Saturday, affecting 30,000 more passengers

A passenger stands in front of the departure board at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, photo: AP/Arne Dedert
9 months ago

BERLIN – Germany’s largest airline, Lufthansa, canceled 830 short- and medium-haul flights on Friday affecting 100,000 passengers after a pilots’ strike entered its third day in a long-running dispute over wages.

The carrier also announced the cancellation of another 137 long-haul flights scheduled for Saturday, affecting 30,000 more passengers.

Since the strikes started on Wednesday the airline has had to cancel 2,863 flights, affecting 345,000 passengers.

It said most of its flights will be operating Saturday, and that other airlines in its group are not affected. Those include Eurowings, Germanwings, Swiss, and Austrian Airlines.

The strikes called by the Cockpit union are their 14th since April 2014.

The union has been announcing the continuation of the strike one day at a time, and Cockpit spokesman Joerg Handwerg told the dpa news agency that the union has made no decision on when the strikes may end.

Cockpit is seeking retroactive raises of 3.66 percent a year going back 5.5 years, a demand Lufthansa says is impossible as it faces increasing competition from Gulf airlines and European budget carriers.

Still, the company increased its offer to pilots Friday in an effort to resume negotiations with the union. Lufthansa offered to increase pay by 4.4 percent in two steps by mid-2018, and make a one-time payment of 1.8 monthly salaries in lieu of past increases.

The airline also offered to hire about 1,000 new pilots in the coming five years and seek third-party mediation on other outstanding issues.

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