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Lufthansa strike grounds a third of Frankfurt flights

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Lufthansa strike grounds a third of Frankfurt flights
Photo: DPA
06:51 CEST+02:00
Lufthansa cancelled "a large part" of its 360 scheduled flights in and out of Frankfurt on Friday morning owing to walkouts by cabin staff, the company said.

Primarily affected were domestic and European flights, but a small number of long-haul services was also being hit by knock-on effects, a Lufthansa spokesman said.

Frankfurt is Lufthansa's main hub and Europe's third-busiest airport.

Cabin staff staged a strike from 5 am until 1 pm on Friday in their fight for higher pay. Their action was expected to hit domestic flights as well as those to cities such as London and Rome.

Around a third of flights leaving Germany's biggest airport have been affected.

Extended industrial action could prove costly for the airline, which already faces strong headwinds from rising fuel prices and fierce competition.

Earlier the union said in a message to staff on its website that Friday would be the "first day when the strike will take effect," but did not specify times or locations.

Unions had held off from taking strike action while last-ditch wage negotiations were still under way, but with no breakthrough in the deadlocked talks overnight Monday, the UFO labour union declared the negotiations as failed and called for immediate walkouts.

Extended industrial action could prove costly for the airline, which already faces strong headwinds from rising fuel prices and fierce competition.

The union is seeking a five percent pay increase for cabin staff for 15 months starting from January this year after three years of zero increases. Lufthansa's latest office was just 3.5 percent.

It is also opposed to the use of temporary cabin staff in Lufthansa aircraft.

AFP/The Local/jcw

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