ALSO READMore than 800 flights grounded as Lufthansa dispute intensifies Lufthansa pilot strike enters 3rd day, 830 flights grounded Lufthansa cancels 876 flights due to pilots' strike Lufthansa cancels 830 flights tomorrow as pilots strike again CORRECTED: Lufthansa cancels 876 flights due to pilots' strike
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German airline Lufthansa cancelled hundreds of flights on Tuesday as its pilots started two days of strikes amid a long-running pay dispute that has cost the German flagship carrier hundreds of millions of euros since early 2014.
The walkout affects short-haul flights departing across Germany on Tuesday, forcing Lufthansa to cancel 816 out of around 3,000 planned flights. The pilots have also announced plans to strike on short- and long-haul flights on Wednesday.
Lufthansa has offered to increase the pilots' pay by 4.4 percent in two instalments and make a one-off payment worth 1.8 months' pay. Union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) wants an average annual pay rise of 3.7 percent for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period backdated to 2012.
VC rejected the latest pay offer from Lufthansa late on Friday and has also rebuffed a bid for mediation.
"For mediation you need an offer that can be the basis of negotiations," VC board member Alexander Gerhard-Madjidi told Deutschlandfunk radio on Tuesday. "Lufthansa has not made such an offer."
He said including demands for concessions in return for a wage increase, Lufthansa's offer worked out to a 15 percent pay cut.
Last week, Lufthansa had to cancel nearly 2,800 flights during a four-day walkout from Wednesday that affected more than 350,000 passengers, the 14th walkout in the dispute.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Michael Perry)
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