Europe strikes hit hundreds of flights


Strikes by German public sector workers and French airline staff have forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights in Europe as unions demand better pay.

The planned walkouts in Germany also affected public transport, nursery schools and municipal administrations.

German carrier Lufthansa cancelled some 800 flights at Germany's biggest airport in Frankfurt, as well as in Munich, Cologne-Bonn and Bremen.

The ver.di union said Germany's healthy economy is filling public coffers with record tax income and public workers deserve a cut.

It wants a 6 per cent pay rise - at least 200 euros (around $A320) per month - for some 2.3 million public sector employees, including airport ground crews, bus drivers and hospital staff.

In France, a quarter of Air France flights were cancelled on Tuesday as pilots, ground staff and others went on strike, also demanding a 6 per cent pay rise after years of salary freezes.

It was the sixth such Air France strike since February, and unions plan further walkouts in the coming weeks alongside French train worker strikes over President Emmanuel Macron's economic reforms.