Strike cancels 1,350 Lufthansa flights

UPDATE: More than 150,000 passengers will be affected as Lufthansa's pilots' union has called a fresh walkout starting Monday in an ongoing dispute with the airline over retirement benefits.

Strike cancels 1,350 Lufthansa flights
Photo: DPA

The strike will target short- and medium-haul flights across Germany from midday on Monday until just before midnight Tuesday, the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union said in a statement.

The airline will cancel 1,350 flights as a result. 

Flights leaving from Lufthansa hubs Frankfurt and Munich will stop flying as of noon on Monday. Long haul flights will fly until Tuesday, after which Cockpit announced industrial action on those as well. 

Lufthansa's cargo services would also be affected Tuesday from 1 am until around 11 pm.

Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings will not be part of the strike, it added.

The union representing 5,400 pilots said it was down to the management of Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline, that "despite all efforts for compromise proposals" by the pilots in several rounds of negotiations since October, the dispute could not be resolved.

The pilots are defending themselves "resolutely" against the proposed changes to the early retirement scheme that the airline wants to phase out to reduce costs, it said.

At present, pilots are allowed to retire at 55 and receive up to 60 percent of their pay until they reach the statutory retirement age, which is currently 65.

Lufthansa pilots have already staged nine walkouts since April. 

The last industrial action in the ongoing dispute was in October. Since negotiations began, the airline has had to cancel around 6,000 flights, costing the firm around €170 million.

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