New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: German airline Lufthansa on Thursday cancelled over 700 flights as carrier attendants went on a 48-hour strike over pay and pensions. A spokesperson for the carrier confirmed that about 400 flights would be cancelled in Frankfurt, while an additional 250 in Munich and some more at smaller airports.

"It's quiet in the terminals," a spokeswoman for Frankfurt airport said. She added that most of the passengers rebooked onto different flights and didn't show up at the airport.

Earlier on Wednesday, the carrier had announced it expects to cancel a total of 1,300 connections-- amounting to one in five of Lufthansa's planned 6,000 flights over the two-day period--  on Thursday and Friday, with 180,000 passengers affected, while a Frankfurt labour court rejected airline's application to prevent the strike, which is part of a long-running dispute at the airline.

The departure table on Frankfurt airport showed the number of cancelled flights to European destinations and on transatlantic routes.

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Lufthansa has said passengers travelling between German airports can exchange their flight ticket online and opt for rail services. Other passengers will be offered alternative flights.

 

Meanwhile, the flight attendants union UFO has left open the possibility of continuing strikes beyond Friday, potentially escalating the dispute.

Lufthansa and the union have been at odds for months over the union's legal status. The carrier says the union leadership team that took office earlier this year was not elected in a way that met legal requirements -- a stance that UFO contests.

Its CEO Carsten Spohr on Thursday announced new talks with unions including UFO. 

The company, which faces stiff competition from easyJet and Ryanair on Thursday also announced plans to cut costs at its Brussels, Austrian airlines and Lufthansa Cargo units to revive profits.

Posted By: James Kuanal