Lufthansa has cancelled 1,200 flights as a four-day strike by pilots starts today.

Most of the cancelled flights are domestic and European services, says a Lufthansa spokesman.

"About two-thirds of flights on our classic network will be cancelled," he says, adding that about 1,800 flights are operated daily.

Flights operated by Lufthansa partners such as Lufthansa CityLine, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines will not be affected, adds the spokesman.

German pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit has called the strike over job security concerns. Its members reportedly make up the vast majority of Lufthansa's 4,500 cockpit crew.

"Lufthansa urges the pilots' union to return to the negotiating table to work out a constructive solution to the dispute in the interest of the company and its customers," says the airline.

It expects to still operate to all Asian destinations during the strike, but the number of flights will be reduced, says the spokesman.

For example, there will be 15 weekly flights out of Hong Kong into the airline's four hubs in Europe, down from 19 usually, he says.

Lufthansa has offered to rebook affected customers on new flights, and will offer refunds to domestic passengers who choose to travel via rail instead, he adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news