FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Talks between Lufthansa and its main pilots' union aimed at averting a new 24-hour strike broke down Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

``The negotiations have broken off without a result,'' Lufthansa spokeswoman Sigrid Baeumer said. She refused to give further details.

Georg Fongern, spokesman for the Vereinigung Cockpit union, earlier had said there was movement, though he declined to give details.

``We're facing either a breakthrough or a breakdown,'' Fongern said, stressing that this week's strike was still planned.

The union, which represents about 80 percent of Lufthansa's 4,200 pilots, has pledged to stage 24-hour strikes on Thursdays until an agreement is reached. It has also threatened to step up the walkouts if progress isn't made soon.

Striking pilots last Thursday grounded more than 900 of 1,100 scheduled flights.

The pilots, who argue their pay has fallen behind industry averages, have rejected a 26 percent raise for 2001.