09/09/2015 07:37 EDT | Updated 09/09/2016 05:12 EDT

1,000 Lufthansa Flights Cancelled In Pilot Strike; 140,000 Travelers Affected

BERLIN — Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, says it has cancelled 1,000 flights after pilots went on strike in an ongoing labour dispute.

The pilots union, Vereinigung Cockpit, began its strike on long-haul flights Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of 90 flights, and extended the walk-out to medium-and short-haul flights Wednesday.

Lufthansa says some 140,000 travellers were affected but that about 500 of the airline's flights would still operate, and that none of its subsidiaries Germanwings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines or Brussels Airlines were involved.

The union has been calling regular short-term strikes in the long-term labour dispute, which comes as Lufthansa restructures to meet increasing competition from Gulf airlines.

Among other demands, the 5,400 pilots want the airline to keep making transition payments for those seeking early retirement.