Lufthansa cancels 170 flights as cabin crew strike

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Lufthansa has cancelled more than 170 flights today after flight attendants at the German carrier began industrial action at Frankfurt.

German flight attendant union UFO has called on their members to walk out between 5:00am and 13:00 local time, but the strike will affect flights at the airline's main base as well as other airports throughout the day.

Short and medium-haul flights have been most affected, but the carrier has also cancelled a number of long-haul services, such as to Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

The strike covers around 19,000 cabin crew members who are directly employed by the mainline carrier. Staff at the Lufthansa's regional subsidiaries and its wholly owned low-cost carrier Germanwings are not affected.

Lufthansa has been locked in wage negotiations with UFO for more than a year. Last minute talks aimed at averting the strike collapsed on 27 August.

The strike technically hinges on nominal wage increases and change in remuneration structures which, according to UFO, will slow down salary rises with seniority.

But the wider disagreement between the management and union is based on the employment of external staff as cabin crew on a restructured European network, which Lufthansa plans for next year.