BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany’s Lufthansa on Thursday said it would do everything possible to minimise the effects of a pilots’ strike set to begin on Friday and defended its offer during wage talks.

The union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), said late on Wednesday that pay talks had failed and the strike would affect both passenger and cargo services.

VC is demanding a 5.5% pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots and automatic inflation compensation thereafter.

Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines including Lufthansa to cancel thousands of flights this summer and caused hours-long queues at major airports, frustrating holidaymakers keen to travel after COVID-19 lockdowns.

Michael Niggemann, the Lufthansa executive board member responsible for human resources, said the German carrier had made a good, balanced offer during talks and the strike would inconvenience several thousand customers.

“We want solutions at the negotiating table,” he said, adding that Lufthansa’s offers were a good basis for continuing talks.

Lufthansa has offered a total of 900 euros ($901.35) more in basic pay per month in two stages over an 18-month term as well as an agreement guaranteeing cockpit staff a minimum fleet size.

($1 = 0.9985 euros)

(Writing by Miranda Murray; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Kirsti Knolle)