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Lufthansa strike hits Switzerland

Swiss International Airlines said on Monday it will boost capacity by up to 20 per cent on some routes after pilots of its parent company, Lufthansa, went on strike.

Lufthansa has cancelled 27 flights per day in Switzerland. In Geneva 13 of the 19 flights that normally start did not fly. The rest of the cancellations affect Zurich.

Overall, Lufthansa has cut around 800 flights per day for the four-day strike.

Swiss said it would use larger aircraft to deal with extra passenger demand. The strike might affect Swiss/Lufthansa codeshare services that are operated using Lufthansa aeroplanes, Swiss said.

Lufthansa pilots went on strike at midnight after last-ditch attempts to reach a compromise failed over the weekend.

Staff are concerned that the company could try to cut personnel costs by shifting jobs to foreign subsidiaries such as Austrian Airlines or Lufthansa Italia, where wages are lower.

The strike is the biggest in the German flag carrier's history, according to the airline. It said the move will cost it about €100 million (SFr147 million) in cash, in addition to lost ticket sales and possible damage to its reputation. and agencies

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