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Hundreds of flights cancelled in Germany as Lufthansa strike continues

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Hundreds of flights cancelled in Germany as Lufthansa strike continues
Passengers at Munich Airport faced lots of cancelled flights on Friday. Photo: DPA
10:01 CET+01:00
A two-day strike by Lufthansa cabin crew continued on Friday, affecting tens of thousands of people.

There is huge disruption to Germany's air network, particularly at Lufthansa's two major hubs at Frankfurt and Munich.

Cabin crew union members downed their tools on Thursday in a 48-hour strike over pay and conditions. The strike is due to last until midnight on Friday.

More than 600 flights were due to be axed on Friday, according to Lufthansa. It follows the cancellation of 700 flights the previous day.

Lufthansa expected around 180,000 passengers in total to be affected by the industrial action. Even after the strike ends, some cancellations and disruption is expected on Saturday, because aircraft and crews will not be in the correct locations.

The UFO union says the stoppage is necessary because negotiations with Lufthansa bosses are deadlocked.

But it accepted a surprise olive branch offered by Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr on Thursday, and agreed to preliminary talks over the weekend.

The current strike would carry on as planned "but would not for now be expanded", UFO said on its website.

READ ALSO: Travel chaos in Germany as 180,000 passengers hit by 48-hour Lufthansa strike

Hundreds of flights axed

As was the case on Thursday, most cancellations were affecting Munich and Frankfurt. However, there was also disruption and cancellations at other German airports.

Early on Friday Morning, 414 out of 1362 flights were cancelled in Frankfurt, a spokesman for the airport said.

According to Lufthansa, more than 200 flights will be cancelled in Munich on Friday. The counters and terminals were empty in the morning and there were "no long lines," a Munich Airport spokeswoman said.

Cancellations on a departure board in Frankfurt Airport on Thursday. Photo: DPA

In Berlin a total of 35 departures and 36 landings on the Berlin-Frankfurt and Berlin-Munich routes were axed on Friday.

The union already staged a day-long warning strike last month at four Lufthansa subsidiary airlines, causing several dozen flights to be axed at Eurowings, Germanwings, SunExpress and Lufthansa CityLine.

But the flagship Lufthansa brand was spared the upheaval after management offered a surprise two-percent pay rise to avert the strike.

Since then however, no progress had been made in talks.

As well as higher pay for about 21,000 flight attendants across the Lufthansa group, UFO is demanding more benefits and easier routes into long-term contracts for temporary workers.

Lufthansa, however, has long argued that UFO no longer has the right to represent its staff following an internal leadership tussle, and has challenged the union's legal status in court.

If no resolution is found, there are fears that more strikes will take place.

 
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