* Pilots to strike from 1500-2100 GMT Friday
* Action will affect short-haul flights from Frankfurt
* Lufthansa says to cancel over 200 flights
* Row is over early retirement scheme
(Adds further comment from union, numbers of people, flights
BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Sept 4 Pilots locked in a row
with Lufthansa over an early retirement scheme
announced the second strike within a week at the German airline,
this time affecting thousands of travellers at Europe's
third-largest airport in Frankfurt.
Union Vereinigung Cockpit said the strike would run from
1500-2100 GMT on Friday and would affect short-haul and
medium-haul Lufthansa flights leaving Frankfurt airport.
Lufthansa said the strike was likely to result in the
cancellation of over 200 flights, affecting around 25,000
Pilots went on strike at Lufthansa's low-cost unit
Germanwings last week, costing the airline more than 10 million
euros ($13 million). The union said on Thursday more strikes
could come at any time after Friday's action.
"We will continue to strike until Lufthansa brings an end to
the confrontational way in which they deal with staff," VC board
member Joerg Handwerg said in response to Reuters questions.
The pilots, who also carried out a three-day nationwide
strike in April over the same issue, want Lufthansa to maintain
a 50-year old scheme that allows pilots to take early retirement
at 55 and still receive up to 60 percent of their pay.
Lufthansa, which had tried to scrap the scheme entirely,
wants to increase the average age at which its pilots retire to
61, to reflect longer life expectancies and a recent European
Union ruling that allows pilots to stay in the job until the age
Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr had earlier this
week said in a presentation to management that Lufthansa had the
best pilots. "But we have to be able to afford them in the long
term," he said.
DZ Bank said the strike announcement was not a surprise but
was negative. "(The) full year earnings target is becoming more
difficult to achieve," analyst Dirk Schlamp said.
The pilots had said strikes this time around would not be as
widespread as they were in April.
The latest strikes coincide with the end of the summer
holiday period in various German states.
Lufthansa said the strike would affect business travellers
and those going away for the weekend. It also criticised the
timing of the announcement, at after 5 p.m. local time, saying
it made it difficult to add more people to its call centres to
deal with rebookings.
($1 = 0.7710 euro)
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Peter Maushagen; Editing by
Maria Sheahan and Keiron Henderson)