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Lufthansa cabin crew strike hits 290 flights

BBC Online

German airline Lufthansa will cancel 290 flights on Friday afternoon because of strike action by cabin crew over cost-saving measures.

The strike by members of the UFO union will mainly affect short-haul flights.

Lufthansa and the union failed to reach an agreement in a long-running row over early retirement benefits and pensions on Thursday.

The airline has been trying to negotiate with various staff groups as part of a savings drive.

About 37,500 passengers on flights from Frankfurt and Duesseldorf will be affected by the nine-hour strike, which is scheduled to begin at 13:00 GMT, Lufthansa said.

“Of a total 3,000 connections scheduled for today, 290 flights will be cancelled, including 15 intercontinental services,” the firm said.

Some 10% of all flights in the Lufthansa Group will have to be cancelled, a spokesman told the BBC.

Lufthansa Group airlines include Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Cityline.

More strike action can be expected on Saturday at Frankfurt, the union said, but Lufthansa’s other main hub in Munich will not be at risk of action until after Sunday.

Should Lufthansa management not make concessions, the union said it was planning another strike on 13 November.

“We regret this course of action, but we see no alternative,” union head Nicoley Baublies said.

Equinet analyst Jochen Rothenbacher said the strike could cost Lufthansa €20m (£14m) a day, depending on the number of cancellations.

Strikes by pilots have already cost Lufthansa about €130m so far this year.

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