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Lufthansa cancels nearly 900 flights over pilot strike

GERMANY'S flagship carrier Lufthansa cancelled nearly 900 flights Wednesday because of a strike by pilots, causing travel disruption for tens of thousands of passengers in the latest escalation of a long-simmering pay dispute.

The stoppage, called by the pilots' union Cockpit, affected Lufthansa flights at airports across Germany.

Out of its roughly 3,000 scheduled flights, 876 were cancelled due to the strike, "affecting some 100,000 passengers", the airline also said.

"Lufthansa has taken note, with complete incomprehension, of the announcement the Cockpit pilots' union will continue its strike on Thursday even before its start on Wednesday," the company said in a statement.

It is the union's 14th strike since April 2014.

Cockpit had initially called for a 24-hour stoppage but said late Tuesday that the strike would continue into Thursday for both long- and short-haul flights leaving Germany.

Meanwhile a separate walkout by cabin crew at Lufthansa's low-cost airline Eurowings led to the cancellation of more than 60 flights at airports in Hamburg and Duesseldorf on Tuesday.

Lufthansa group's other airlines -- Germanwings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines -- are not impacted by the strike.

The industrial action was called by Germany's biggest services union Verdi in a row over pay and working conditions.

The Lufthansa pilots going on strike are demanding a pay rise of an average of 3.66 percent per year, retroactive for the past five years.

The union says pilots have endured a wage freeze over that time and suffered a "significant loss of purchasing power" due to inflation, while Lufthansa has made billions in profits.


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