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New Lufthansa pilots' strike to begin Monday

Staff writer |
German pilots' union Cockpit has called a new strike starting Monday in an ongoing dispute with the airline over retirement benefits.

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The strike will target short- and medium-haul flights across Germany from midday on Monday until just before midnight Tuesday when long-haul services will also be affected, the Vereinigung Cockpit union said.

It said long-haul flights across the country and Lufthan until just before 2400 GMT. Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary Germanwings will not be part of the strike, it added.

The union said it was down to the management of Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline, that "despite all efforts for compromise proposals" by the pilots in several rounds of negotiations since October, the dispute could not be resolved.

The pilots are defending themselves "resolutely" against the proposed changes to the early retirement scheme that the airline wants to phase out to reduce costs, it said. At present, pilots are allowed to retire at 55 and receive up to 60 percent of their pay until they reach the statutory retirement age, which is currently 65.

Lufthansa pilots have already staged nine walkouts since April, forcing thousands of flight cancellations and taking a heavy toll on the company's earnings.

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