Lufthansa hikes pilot pay 3.5%

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Germany's leading airline, Lufthansa, said Friday it will give 4,500 pilots a 3.5-percent raise, retroactive to April 1.

An accord reached with the Cockpit trade union is to run until April 30, 2012, a statement added.

It quoted personnel director Roland Busch as saying the agreement was "very ambitious for our company" and would entail cost increases that would have to be compensated for elsewhere.

The decision was nonetheless manageable because it came following two years during which pilots wages were frozen, Busch added.

Lufthansa pilots walked out in February 2010 to press for higher wages, forcing the airline to cancel some 2,000 flights in a dispute that was estimated to have cost it 48 million euros ($70 million) in all.

© 2011 AFP

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