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Ground crew make airlines cancel flights to and from Budapest

Two-day strike by ground crew became the reason for four international carriers to cancel or to divert all their flights to and from Budapest Friday.

Lufthansa, British Airways, Alitalia and easyJet on Friday cleared their schedules, and other carriers were expected to make decisions later, airport spokesman Domokos Szollar said.

Hungary's national carrier, Malev, as well as Czech Airlines, Iberia and SkyEurope should be unaffected because they employ their own ground personnel, he said.

The striking workers are seeking a 10-percent salary increase.

The strike, which began at 2:30 p.m. (1230GMT) Thursday, could affect a total of some 160 flights over Easter weekend, Szollar said earlier.

Flights operated by the affected airlines represent about one-third of all air traffic at the airport.

Szollar said passengers will also notice a slowdown at check-in counters, baggage claims and when boarding aircraft.

British Airways said some flights would be diverted to the Austrian capital, Vienna, with passengers bussed to and from Budapest - about a three-hour journey.