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Lufthansa feels impact of strike

Berlin - Europe’s biggest flag-carrier Lufthansa told reporters it would cancel two-thirds of its 1 800 scheduled flights for Friday after a cabin crew union called for a 24-hour strike.

A Lufthansa spokesperson said on Wednesday that no peace offer would be made to the union, Ufo, which is demanding a five-per-cent pay hike and the abandonment of plans to set up a low-pay subsidiary to take over scheduled flights. The airline refuses to discuss the outsourcing issue.

(File image) A Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 aircraft is pictured on the runway at Frankfurt's airport. Credit: Reuters

Lufthansa said it hoped to offer a third of its scheduled flights, which included those offered by partner airlines, which are not to be affected by the strike. It also hoped to offer its long-distance flights.

The union, Ufo, which says more than half of 19 400 attendants at Lufthansa are signed-up members, has called for cabin crews to stop work on Friday for 24 hours. The airline said 80 percent of crews refused to work during two previous strikes.

The airline is to publish information on the cancelled flights on its website.

In the union's two strikes so far - the first was on Friday - more than 500 flights were cancelled. Many passengers, especially travellers arriving in Germany in transit with no advance warning of the strike, were furious.

In the second-round strike on Tuesday, 43 000 passengers suffered massive delays as they waited for seats on substitute connections, among them nearly 400 people who slept the night on camp-beds set up in a terminal by Munich airport authorities.

An airline spokesperson said Lufthansa had already placed a negotiable offer on the table and it was up to Ufo to resume negotiations.

Ufo leader Nicoley Baublies said Lufthansa chief Peter Gerber should explain his plans directly to the union, which was willing to listen to anything which would make the strike unnecessary.

He said Ufo had not yet planned any strikes beyond Friday, preferring to give Lufthansa time to reconsider its stance. - Sapa-dpa

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