Lufthansa says it will probably have to cancel most of its short-haul flights after members of the cabin crew union announced a walkout. Hayley Platt reports on the German airline's continuing travails.
Long delays for passengers of Lufthansa. The German carrier is striking again - it may have to cancel most its short-haul flights. The walkout is the latest in a bitter dispute between pilots and Lufthansa's management over cost-cutting plans and changes to retirement benefits. Union leaders say last-ditch talks failed to reach a conclusion. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPOKESPERSON FOR LUFTHANSA CABIN CREW WORKERS UNION UFO, NICOLEY BAUBLIES, SAYING: "Lufthansa said yesterday that they had agreed to all our claims. That is not correct. Lufthansa has not offered us anything new. They have even threatened us, saying that if we strike our jobs are going to be in danger. That is not a good starting point to re-start our negotiations." Lufthansa Group airlines Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, and others are not affected. But coming on the day that British Airways owner IAG raised its earnings growth targets through to 2020, Jeremy Cook of World First says investors are losing patience with the German airline. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD FIRST, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "If you look at the Lufthansa share price over the last two years, it's down around 12 percent. Compared to an index of all airlines globally which have risen about 50 percent over the course of the same timeline, so you'd have to say investors haven't been particularly hot on Lufthansa for a while now." Some long-haul flights have also been cancelled. Lufthansa has seen more than a dozen strikes in the last 18 months, with those this year costing about 140 million dollars. Unions say the strike could go on for a whole week, making this the longest yet.