By Jonathan Davies

Pilots at German airline Lufthansa have announced plans to strike on Wednesday, affecting short and medium-haul flights.

It adds to an already long-running dispute early retirement benefits and plans to expand the company's low-cost operations.

If the strike goes ahead, it will be the latest in a long line over the past year. Strikes in 2014 cost Lufthansa 232m euros (£165m), with flights over Easter hit particularly hard.

The strike was called by pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit. The union said it would affect flights across Germany, but wouldn't affected Lufthansa's budget airlines Germanwings and Eurowings.

The two sides have been disputing the airline's plans to scrap a retirement plan which allows pilots to retire at 55, but still receive 60% of their salary until the statutory retirement age of 65.

The union also said that Lufthansa is offering younger pilots less attractive working conditions.