09/07/2012 01:43 EDT | Updated 11/07/2012 05:12 EST

Lufthansa, cabin crew union take pay dispute to arbitration after flight attendants walk out

BERLIN - Germany's Lufthansa and a union representing its cabin crew have agreed to take their pay dispute to arbitration — a move that will put any further strikes on hold.

Lufthansa said it and the UFO union agreed to the move Friday — after the airline cancelled hundreds of flights after cabin crew walked off the job at German airports.

The flight attendants started their 24-hour walkout midnight Thursday in a battle with the airline, which is struggling to compete against European budget carriers and government-owned airlines from the Persian Gulf.

Lufthansa says the two sides aim to agree by the end of next week who the arbitrator will be. The union will have to refrain from further strikes from Saturday until the end of the arbitration process.