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Lufthansa long-haul pilots strike

Pilots with Lufthansa's long-haul fleet have started a 15-hour walkout at the German airline's main Frankfurt hub in a festering contract dispute.

The Vereinigung Cockpit union called members out on strike from 8am local time (0600 GMT) in its fourth limited walkout in recent weeks and the first since a new round of talks collapsed last week.

Lufthansa said it plans to go ahead with 32 of the day's 57 scheduled intercontinental flights from Frankfurt - 26 flown by volunteer pilots, the other six pushed forward or back to tomorrow.

The two sides are at odds over the pilots' demand that Lufthansa keep a transition payment for those wanting early retirement.

The airline, facing competition from European budget airlines and major Gulf carriers, wants to cut those payments.

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