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Thousands of passengers affected by pilots' strike in Germany

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BERLIN — Thousands of passengers are feeling the impact of a pilots strike in Germany after negotiations between the country's biggest airline Lufthansa and the union representing pilots collapsed over a long-running dispute regarding wages and early retirement benefits.

Germanwings, a subsidiary of Germany's biggest airline Lufthansa, said up to 15,000 passengers were affected by Friday's strike which started at 6 a.m. and was to last until noon local time (0400-1000 GMT).

More than a hundred flights, mostly domestic connections from airports in Cologne, Stuttgart, Duesseldorf, Dortmund, Hannover, Hamburg and Berlin, were grounded by the strike.

The airline said on its website it was trying to rebook customers free of charge.

A three-day pilots' strike in April grounded Lufthansa and its Germanwings and Lufthansa Cargo subsidiaries.

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