Lufthansa Cuts 70 Flights As Strike Continues

July 29, 2008

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Lufthansa said it would cancel about 70 of its 2,000 daily flights on Tuesday as a strike by thousands of ground and cabin staff over pay enters its second day.

The routes affected are short-haul services with high frequencies, enabling it to switch passengers to other flights, a Lufthansa spokesman said. No long-haul services would be affected, he added.

"We are unable to operate 3 percent of our total flight offering," the spokesman said.

Six aircraft in Frankfurt and three in Munich could not be readied for flying on Tuesday and would not be available for flights, he said.

The open-ended strike began on Monday and hit Germany's largest airports, including Frankfurt. The union pledged the impact of the strike by members of the Verdi services union would grow in the coming days.

Verdi, which represents some 50,000 ground and cabin staff at Lufthansa, wants an immediate 9.8 percent pay rise. Lufthansa is offering 6.7 percent over 21 months and a one-off payment. Ninety-one percent of union members backed the strike in a ballot.

The rival UFO union, the dominant union for cabin crew, is not taking part in the dispute.

(Reuters)