FRANKFURT, GERMANY - THE biggest German airline, Lufthansa, will cancel long-distance flights on Wednesday for the first time since cabin crews and ground personnel walked out on strike earlier this week, a spokesman said.
Lufthansa plans to cancel 78 flights in all, including four to Calcutta, Calgary, Chicago and New York.
On Tuesday, the German flag carrier grounded 70 flights, roughly three percent of all services, owing mainly to the lack of maintenance technicians at its major German airports.
The start of the strike by ground personnel Monday had seen few disruptions in the busy holiday season due to precautionary measures taken by Lufthansa.
Service sector union Verdi has estimated the strike would cost Lufthansa five million euros (S$10.67 million) a day.
Verdi wants a 9.8 per cent pay hike over a year for around 50,000 workers, while Lufthansa has offered 6.7 per cent over 21 months.
Lufthansa also said on Wednesday that its second-quarter net profit had fallen by 21 per cent to 345 million euros in comparison with a year-earlier figure that had benefited from the airline's sale of a stake in the travel company Thomas Cook.
On Tuesday, the German carrier said its operating profit for all of 2008 was expected to reach last year's level of 1.38 billion euros. -- AFP