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Lufthansa cancels 'almost all' flights in Germany over strike

German airline group Lufthansa said it is canceling "almost all" of its flights to and from its main German hubs in Munich and Frankfurt on Friday after pilots called a strike.

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The airline will cancel 800 flights on September 2 affecting "130,000 passengers", Lufthansa said in a statement on Thursday.

Pilots called the industrial action affecting the Lufthansa passenger airline and Lufthansa Cargo after pay negotiations with the German airline collapsed. The strike will begin at 00:01 am on Friday morning and end at 23:59 pm.

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The disruption to the flight plan could lead to further "individual cancellations or delays on Saturday and Sunday", Lufthansa said. The airline group voiced regret at the union's decision, saying it had put forward a "very good offer" that would raise the pilots' basic wages by 900 euros ($902) a month.

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The pilot union Cockpit is seeking 5.5 percent wage increase by the end of the year, automatic compensation for inflation, and an adjustment of its salary grid. Lufthansa said the entire package sought by the union would raise pilot personnel costs by 40 percent or 900 million euros. The union argued however that to avert labor disputes, the airline must "present a significantly improved offer". "Currently, we are too far apart.

In addition to compensating for the loss of real wages, we now need above all a sustainable solution for the compensation structure in all occupational groups," said Cockpit's negotiator Marcel Groels. With inflation soaring, collective salary bargaining is expected to be tense in the coming months across Europe. German consumer prices rose by 7.9 percent in the year to August, according to data published Tuesday by the federal statistics agency Destatis.

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