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Lufthansa cancels 35 flights Sunday; pilot strike halted but still no deal

By Eric DuVall
German airliner Luifthansa canceled 35 flights on Sunday, fallout from a four-day pilot strike that forced more than 2,900 flights to be grounded. The company said each day of the strike cost them about $10.6 million. File Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI
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German airline Lufthansa was forced to cancel 35 flights Sunday, continued fallout from a four-day pilot strike that has grounded more than 2,900 flights since it began.
Some 5,400 pilots walked off the job Wednesday, the latest incident in a longstanding dispute between the union and management over pilots' pay.
Initially, the union said the strike would last two days, but extended it to Friday and again to Saturday as negotiators failed to resolve the impasse. The union promised to have pilots back on the job Sunday, though logistical problems stemming from the backlog forced some flights to be canceled, the company said via Twitter.
The union has not ruled out another strike next week if a new salary package is not in place.
An airline spokesman told The Wall Street Journal each day of the strike has cost the carrier roughly $10.6 million and it has affected more than 345,000 passengers since Wednesday.
Lufthansa, the largest airliner in Germany and one of the largest in Europe, offered pilots a 4.4 percent raise, nearly double the amount workers were scheduled to receive, along with a one-time bonus of 1.8 times their monthly salary. The union rejected the offer Friday because it said the pay increase was offset by concessions the airline demanded in retirement and other benefits. The union has demanded a 20 percent total pay increase retroactive to the expiration of the union's last contract, which equals a 3.7 percent raise annually. The pilot union's contract expired in 2012.
Lufthansa passengers booked Sunday should check the company's website to see whether their flight is among those affected by the cancelations.
Lufthansa cancels 35 flights Sunday; pilot strike halted but still no deal Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 10:06 PM Rating: 5

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