Lufthansa cancels 876 flights due to pilots' strike on Wednesday

Published On: November 22, 2016 08:00 PM NPT By: Reuters

Lufthansa said it was canceling more than a third of its flights on Wednesday due to a 24-hour strike by its pilots, the latest disruption to its operations to be caused by a long-running pay dispute.

The 876 cancellations, out of roughly 3,000 scheduled flights for the day, will affect around 100,000 passengers, Lufthansa said on Tuesday.

The strike, the 14th to hit the airline in its dispute with the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, will run from midnight and affect short-haul and long-haul flights departing from German airports.

Flights by Lufthansa's other airlines including Germanwings, Eurowings, Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines, are not affected by the pilots' strike, Lufthansa said.

However, budget airline Eurowings canceled more than 60 flights on Tuesday due to a separate strike by some cabin crew in a pay dispute between management and the Verdi labor union. The walkout started at Duessseldorf and Hamburg airports at 5 am local time (0400 GMT) and is due to last until 8 pm.

Pay talks between Lufthansa and VC broke down this month, and the pilots have rejected calls by Lufthansa for the dispute to be taken to a mediator.

The union is calling for an average increase of 3.7 percent in pay for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period dating back to 2012.

However, Lufthansa, which is trying to cut costs to cope with increased competition from low-cost carriers and leaner Gulf rivals, has offered a 2.5 percent increase over the six years until 2019.

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