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Cabin crew union offers Lufthansa budget carriers new talks

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Lufthansa cabin crew and pilots have embarked on a series of strikes over the last few years as the airline battles to reduce costs in order to compete with low-cost rivals and long-haul carriers with leaner cost bases.

[BERLIN] German cabin crew union UFO has offered new talks to management at Lufthansa's Eurowings and Germanwings, a day after a 24-hour strike forced the budget carriers to cancel hundreds of flights, the union said.

"We are giving the parties the opportunity to avert further strikes next week," UFO board member Nicoley Baublies told Reuters on Friday.

Lufthansa cabin crew and pilots have embarked on a series of strikes over the last few years as the airline battles to reduce costs in order to compete with low-cost rivals and long-haul carriers with leaner cost bases.

This week's strike was called after talks on new contracts collapsed between UFO and Eurowings, a regional carrier that Lufthansa is using as a basis to expand its budget offering.

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Increasing pressure on the group, the union also called a strike for staff at Germanwings, which is being merged with Eurowings. It cited a lack of agreement on part-time contracts, which Eurowings described as absurd.

UFO has threatened that it would call for two more days of strikes next week if management did not change its stance.

Eurowings, which put forward a new offer last week that includes an average pay increase of around 7 per cent, has said it was prepared to resume talks at any time.

REUTERS

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