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Germany's Lufthansa cancels over 200 flights ahead of strike by short-haul pilots in Frankfurt

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BERLIN - Lufthansa has cancelled more than 200 short-haul flights as a result of a planned six-hour strike by pilots at Frankfurt airport, its main hub.

The Vereinigung Cockpit union called pilots on Lufthansa's short-haul fleet out on strike from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. (1500 to 2100 GMT) Friday. The airline cancelled a raft of flights to and from Frankfurt, the last on Saturday morning.

The walkout is part of a dispute over the pilots' demand that Lufthansa keep paying a transition payment for those wanting to retire early. The airline, which faces tough competition from European budget airlines and major Gulf airlines, wants to cut those payments.

The pilots are also asking for a salary increase of 10 per cent. They staged a strike last week at Lufthansa's Germanwings subsidiary.

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