By Dale Western on 22 April 2013

Lufthansa is offering free alternative bookings

22 April 2013 Last updated at 01:38 GMT

Content 300X223German airline Lufthansa has cancelled the majority of its flights scheduled for Monday due to a strike over pay.

The airline said only about 20 of its flights would run as planned, out of more than 1,700 originally scheduled.

Flights to and from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Dublin, Aberdeen and Edinburgh will be hit. German airports affected are Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf and Hamburg.

The airline said the strike, second in the last two months, was uncalled for.

"It's completely out of proportion," a Lufthansa spokesman was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

"Especially given that four further dates for pay talks had already been agreed upon."

Common tactic

Ground staff have called a one-day strike amid an ongoing pay dispute with the airline.

Like many airlines, Lufthansa is looking to cut costs in the face of stiff competition from low-cost carriers and big Gulf airlines, as well as rising fuel prices.

Last week, Lufthansa rejected union demands for a 5.2% wage increase over the next 12 months.

Strikers are also looking for guarantees over job cuts.

Unions staged a similar one-day strike last month. Short "warning strikes" are a common tactic among German unions, designed to put pressure on wage negotiations.

In a statement on its website, Lufthansa said passengers should expect "massive" flight cancellations and delays that will start to affect long-haul flights from Sunday.

The airline said it was offering free alternative bookings.

Columbus Direct customers who have purchased their policies after today 22 April 2013, 01:38 GMT will not be covered under the policy for the strike above.

Please refer to the respective sections of the policy wording and contact customer services if you have any queries.

Tel: 0845 888 8893

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