[FRANKFURT] Pilots for German airline Lufthansa announced they would extend until Friday a strike that has already hit tens of thousands of passengers and seen hundreds of flights cancelled in a dispute over a retirement scheme.
Just over half of the carrier's scheduled 1,400 domestic and European flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich were grounded on Wednesday, affecting around 80,000 passengers, a Lufthansa spokesman said.
The one-day stoppage initially planned is set to continue throughout Thursday, when it will shift to target long-haul and cargo services.
Pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) announced late on Wednesday that it would be also extended to Friday for short- and medium-haul flights.
The walkout is the twelfth bout of strike action to hit the German airline since last April over management plans to change the pilots' transitional pension arrangements.
Flights operated by Lufthansa's subsidiaries Germanwings, Eurowings, Swiss and Austrian Airlines were not affected.