German airline Lufthansa said it cancelled some 50 flights Thursday and will cancel more than 1,000 Friday when the cabin crew go on strike for 24 hours Friday over an escalating pay dispute.
German airline Lufthansa cancelled around 50 flights Thursday ahead of a planned 24-hour walkout by cabin crew at six major airports on Friday as a long-running dispute over pay and conditions escalated.
As in previous walkouts, it was primarily domestic and European services that were affected, but a number of intercontinental flights were also hit, such as New York-Frankfurt and Hong Kong-Munich, according to the carrier`s website.
Late Wednesday, the cabin staff`s labour union, Independent Flight Attendants` Organisation or UFO, said its members will stage a 24-hour stoppage Friday at the airports of Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Duesseldorf and Stuttgart in an escalation of their ongoing pay dispute.
Other much shorter walkouts of eight hours last week and earlier this week have grounded hundreds of flights and hit thousands of passengers.
Lufthansa has therefore said it will cancel 1,200 flights, or two-thirds of its total 1,800 flights on Friday.
According to its latest demands, the union -- which represents some two-thirds of Lufthansa`s 18,000 cabin crew -- is seeking a five-percent pay increase backdated to April after three years of wage freezes.
A 2009 strike by cabin crew cost Lufthansa tens of millions of euros. Lufthansa shares were nevertheless showing a gain on the Frankfurt stock exchange early Thursday, adding 1.48 percent to 9.79 euros in a generally firmer market.