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Half of all Lufthansa long-haul flights cancelled in second strike this week

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By Euronews
Half of all Lufthansa long-haul flights cancelled in second strike this week

<p>Passengers of the German airline Lufthansa have been hit by its second strike this week.</p> <p>On Thursday, around half of all long-haul flights are going nowhere, as pilots walk out again in defence of their early retirement benefits.</p> <p>The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, representing about 5,400 Lufthansa pilots, is fighting to safeguard a scheme allowing pilots to retire at the age of 55 and still receive up to 60 percent of their pay before regular pension payments start at 65.</p> <p>This is the tenth strike at the airline since April, and for many on the receiving end , enough is enough.</p> <p>“Of course it is unpleasant for customers,” said passenger Joerg Lehr at Frankfurt Airport.</p> <p>“And then there is the matter of whether it has just gone too far – in what is being demanded by the unions and the impact on passengers. So no, I don’t think it is good.”</p> <p>Domestic and European routes, as well as flights of Lufthansa’s units like Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and <span class="caps">SWISS</span> are not affected.</p> <p>Strike action has already wiped 160 million euros off Lufthansa’s operating profits, not including this week’s walkouts. </p> <p>Lufthansa has offered mediation in the hope of resolving the drawn-out dispute in time for the busy Christmas holiday season.</p> <p>But its moves to expand budget flight operations will do nothing to ease tension with pilots who fear this could mean lower pay and worse conditions.</p>