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Lufthansa applies for injunction to try to stop strikes

Lufthansa logo Image copyright Getty Images

Lufthansa has asked a court in Munich for a temporary injunction to try to stop further strikes planned by its pilots for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The pilots' union, Vereinigung Cockpit, said the walkout would affect short-haul flights on Tuesday, and both short and long-haul flights on Wednesday.

It is the 15th strike since April. with 2,800 flights cancelled last week due to a four-day walkout by pilots.

Lufthansa spokeswoman Bettina Volkens said: "We have to talk."

She added "I hope very much that [Vereinigung Cockpit] finally changes its uncompromising stance. This cannot be forced via strikes."

Joerg Handwerg, board member at Vereinigung Cockpit, said: "Unfortunately, high-level talks held today at short notice failed to lead to an agreement on the wage contract.

"It is completely incomprehensible that (Lufthansa) has refused to put forward an offer that can at least form the basis of a negotiation."

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Image caption The airline has estimated that the strike is costing it about €10m a day

Vereinigung Cockpit wants an average annual pay rise of 3.7% for its 5,400 members in Germany, backdated to 2012.

On Friday, Lufthansa offered to increase wages by 2.4% in 2016, with an additional 2% rise in 2017. It said it would also provide a one-off payment of 1.8 months' pay. The airline had previously offered a 2.5% pay rise.

But the union rejected the offer.

More than 350,000 passengers were affected by last week's action. The airline has estimated that the strike is costing it about 10m euros (£8.5m) a day.

Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Lufthansa, has said that the future of the airline would be threatened if it met the pilots' demands because it would make many routes unprofitable.

"We stand no chance to survive," he said. "There is no more leeway for even better offers when escalation is what is wanted, as opposed to a solution."

Despite a record profit last year, the company said it was forced to cut costs to compete with budget rivals such as Ryanair in Europe and the likes of Emirates on long-haul routes.

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