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Planned strike forces Portugal's TAP to cancel 1,316 flights

FILE PHOTO: A TAP Air Portugal Airlines A330 plane taxis at Lisbon's airport

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's TAP will cancel 1,316 flights due to a strike planned for the end of January, affecting nearly 160,000 passengers, the state-owned airline said on Thursday.

TAP, currently under an EU-approved 3.2-billion-euro bailout plan, said it expected the walkout to cost the company about 48 million euros ($52 million) in revenue.

A further loss of 20 million euros was also expected due to the potential impact on sales, TAP said.

Demanding higher wages and better working conditions, cabin crew union SNPVAC announced earlier this month it would walk out from Jan. 25-31. It follows a shorter strike on Dec. 8-9, which led to the cancellation of 360 flights.

"The decision to go ahead with a strike ... throws out of the window all the work of rapprochement between the parties, leaving thousands of TAP customers with their plans defrauded and seriously affecting the company's results," TAP said in a statement.

TAP said it was drawing up a contingency plan to minimise the impact on customers, such as by adjusting operations and making it easier to re-book flights and get refunds.

The EU restructuring plan includes downsizing TAP's fleet, axing more than 2,900 jobs and cutting most workers' wages by up to 25%. But cuts have come at a time when surging inflation has left workers struggling with higher costs.

($1 = 0.9241 euros)

(Reporting by Catarina Demony and Patricia Rua; Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)