Lufthansa cancels most scheduled Monday flights

  • Associated Press
  • April 20, 2013 - 2:10 PM

BERLIN - Lufthansa has canceled most flights scheduled on Monday, when the German airline's ground staff plans to stage a one-day strike in a pay dispute.

The airline said Saturday that only about 20 of more than 1,650 scheduled short-haul flights will operate Monday. It said that many long-haul flights also will be hit — only six of 50 planned flights will operate at its main Frankfurt hub, and only three of 17 in Munich. Duesseldorf airport's three scheduled long-haul services will go ahead as scheduled.

Passengers with flights scheduled Monday can rebook for free, and those booked on canceled German domestic flights can use their tickets to travel by train, Lufthansa said.

The ver.di union announced the one-day "warning strike" — a tactic commonly used by German unions to raise pressure in wage talks — on Friday. Lufthansa on Wednesday rejected the union's demand for wage increases of 5.2 percent over the next year and job guarantees.

Lufthansa is trying to cut costs to cope with high fuel prices as well as vigorous competition from European discount carriers and the big Gulf airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. Last year, the airline and a union representing cabin crews called in an arbitrator to settle a pay dispute after the union staged a series of short-term stoppages that caused numerous flight cancelations.

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