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Dozens of Lufthansa flights have been cancelled at Frankfurt airport after cabin crew at the German airline staged a strike on Friday in an escalation of a pay dispute.
The stoppage began at 5am and seemed set to affect more than 100 flights scheduled to take off or land at Germany’s busiest airport. Lufthansa said mainly short- and medium-haul flights would be affected, with long-haul flights having “utmost priority” – although a small number of longer flights would also be cancelled.
A list of cancelled flights on the airline’s website included services to India and the US, although it was not clear if these cancellations related directly to strike action.
Lufthansa said the dispute – which follows 13 months of inconclusive talks over pay – was being “waged at the expense of its customers”. The staff union involved is calling the strikes at short notice to make it more difficult for Lufthansa to make contingency arrangements, which the airline said was causing additional problems for passengers.
The UFO union representing Lufthansa cabin crew may stage further disputes in coming days at other airports, a representative said.
A majority of flights to and from Frankfurt had been cancelled, Lufthansa said. The strike was due to continue until 1pm on Friday but Lufthansa said there would be irregularities and delays throughout the day. Flights by Lufthansa’s regional and Germanwings subsidiaries were not affected.
The industrial dispute comes as Lufthansa tries to cut costs, having announced 3,500 job cuts in administrative positions. Strike action is said to cost the airline millions of euros a day.