* Pilots' union VC hopes for talks over weekend
* Lufthansa says wants deal by start of May
* Second day of three-day pilot strike
(Adds comment from Lufthansa and union on possible talks)
FRANKFURT, April 3 Lufthansa pilots
said they hoped to resume talks with management as early as this
weekend over a retirement scheme dispute that grounded Germany's
largest airline for a second day on Thursday.
The three-day stoppage planned by over 5,000 pilots has led
Lufthansa to cancel 3,800 flights, or around nine out of ten
flights. Lufthansa has refused to negotiate while the strike is
The two sides said on Thursday that they would be open to
negotiations after the industrial action comes to an end.
"I hope that we've put on so much pressure with the strike
that we can hold talks at the weekend or early next week,"
Markus Wahl, board member at the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots'
union told Reuters.
As the pilots have agreed not to strike again until the end
of the Easter school holidays, that gives two weeks for talks.
Lufthansa said it hoped to reach an agreement by the start
of May, when the holidays come to an end.
The walkout is expected to cost the airline tens of millions
of euros and has disrupted the travel plans of around 425,000
About 700 flights were cancelled on Thursday in Frankfurt,
Europe's third-biggest hub by passenger numbers, and a couple of
hundred flights were affected in Munich, airport representatives
The pilots are demanding Lufthansa reinstates a scheme that
allowed them to take early retirement and still receive a
proportion of their pay.
Lufthansa says that now the maximum age at which pilots can
still fly has been increased to reflect longer life
expectancies, there is no need for the scheme.
Lufthansa is aiming to return its flight schedule to normal
The strike is a boon for Germany's state railway company
Deutsche Bahn, which is expecting an extra 20,000 customers a
day. It normally transports around 360,000 people a day.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Mark
Potter and Elaine Hardcastle)