No new talks, says Lufthansa as pilots' strike grounds flights

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Lufthansa planes have been grounded as a three-day strike by pilots begins to bite.

The most serious stoppage the airline has experienced has caused 3,800 flights to be cancelled.

The pilots want Lufthansa to reinstate an early retirement pay scheme the company scrapped after the law on retirement changed.

Passenger Thilo Mauns at Munich airport said:
“In my opinion the strike is totally disproportionate to the cause. It does immense damage to the national economy.”

“In general, I do understand why there’s a strike. As for the pilots’ demands, I’m less sympathetic, I have to say. But first of all my compliments to Munich Airport. Everything is well organised, we were able to rebook. Because of that, I’m not entirely concerned,” said another passenger, Petra Bernhardt.

Lufthansa says no new negotiations will take place while the strike continues.

The airline used to allow pilots to retire well before the legal retirement age, on 60 per cent pay.

When the retirement age for pilots in Europe was raised to 65, Lufthansa scrapped the scheme saying it was no longer needed.

The pilots argue they should be able to choose when to retire and say the airline is wrong to try to cut costs given the profits it makes.

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