Germany's Lufthansa has cancelled 1,450 short and medium-haul flights, grounding over 200,000 passengers, after its pilots announced a 35-hour strike beginning early Monday afternoon.

Lufthansa said in a statement that pilots union Vereinigung Cockpi (VC) has called for a strike that will last from 1100 GMT (1200 BST) on 20 October until 2159 GMT (2259 BST) on 21 October.

The statement said the strike will not affect flights operated by Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Lufthansa's low-cost unit Germanwings.

If it goes through, the walkout over an early retirement scheme dispute will mark the eighth stoppage to hit Europe's largest airline in under six months.

Information for Travellers

Travellers may visit Lufthansa's website to check whether their flight has been cancelled.

Passengers facing a flight cancellation can book an alternative connection free of charge or exchange their ticket to travel by train with Deutsche Bahn.

Lufthansa has asked all travellers to check their flight status prior to departure.

VC, which represents some 5,400 Lufthansa pilots, is fighting to keep a scheme that allows pilots to retire at the age of 55 and still receive up to 60% of their pay before regular pension payments kick in at 65. The union has tabled a plan to cover the costs of the scheme.

But the management, under pressure to cut costs, has offered to keep the pension scheme only for employees who joined the company prior to 2014, and wants to increase the earliest possible retirement age for new recruits.