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Auto Shows Lufthansa tightens the austerity measures for its fleet and staff

18:22  21 september  2020
18:22  21 september  2020 Source:   pressfrom.com

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Ein Airbus A380 der Lufthansa steht nach am Flughafen Frankfurt in seiner Parkposition. Die Kranich-Linie legt die Superjumbos in der Corona-Krise still. © Silas Stein / dpa A Lufthansa Airbus A380 is parked at Frankfurt Airport. The crane line shut down the super jumbos in the corona crisis.

The state-supported Lufthansa has to shrink even more in the Corona crisis than initially planned.

Because of the weak demand and ongoing travel restrictions, at least 150 aircraft in the group's fleet will no longer take off and thousands of additional jobs will be canceled, as the company announced on Monday in Frankfurt. The MDax group also wants to save every fifth management position and rent 30 percent less office space in Germany.

So far, Lufthansa had planned to reduce the group fleet by 100 aircraft in the medium term, which once numbered 760 jets. The number of full-time positions that can be saved will also exceed the previously announced 22,000, explained the Board of Management, without specifying an exact size. Insiders assume up to 5000 additional jobs will be lost.

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It was still unclear how many of the currently 128,000 Lufthansa employees would have to fear a termination. Around 10,000 people have left the airline since the beginning of the year, especially abroad. Talks are ongoing for the German workforce about reconciliation of interests and social plans.

The board referred to its goal of creative part-time models and ongoing negotiations with employees. One continues to strive for appropriate crisis packages with the social partners, so that as few as possible have to be terminated for operational reasons.

Only massive state aid from the four home countries - Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium - totaling nine billion euros prevented the collapse of the highly indebted company. Nevertheless, Lufthansa is currently losing 500 million euros in liquid funds every month in the Corona lull. With the austerity measures, this figure should drop to 400 million euros by winter and turn positive in the course of the coming year. Lufthansa intends to use the proceeds from partial sales to reduce its stake in the state.

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Stillgelegte Passagiermaschinen der Lufthansa stehen auf dem Rollfeld des Frankfurter Flughafens. © Boris Roessler / dpa Decommissioned Lufthansa passenger planes are on the tarmac at Frankfurt Airport.

Lufthansa has only signed a long-term agreement with the cabin union Ufo. On Monday, Verdi, who was fighting for the ground crew, adopted the criticism of the pilots' union “Vereinigung Cockpit” on the management plans for the new “Ocean” tourism platform, for which 300 new positions are initially advertised at a lower wage level than the parent company.

Verdi negotiator Mia Neumaier demanded forward-looking concepts. "The company will not be saved with job cuts alone." The employees of Lufthansa Technik also have well-founded fears about their future. "Lufthansa as an airline needs strong Lufthansa Technik with its well-trained specialists and tariff structures," Neumaier explained with a view to a possible spin-off of the technology division. The sale of the catering subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs, which had already been initiated, should be completed for Europe this month, according to the group.

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This year, after the “flash in the pan” of summer travel, Lufthansa expects only flights between 20 and 30 percent of the pre-crisis level. Originally, Lufthansa wanted to fly half of its pre-Corona program again at the end of the year. For a quick recovery, the management sees the expansion of corona rapid tests at the airports as a prerequisite in order to avoid long quarantine periods.

Because of the low level of intercontinental traffic, Lufthansa is now mothballing its largest A380 aircraft in the long term, provided that they cannot be returned to the manufacturer Airbus. Ten further A340-600 intercontinental jets are also to remain parked permanently. "These aircraft would only be reactivated in the event of an unexpectedly rapid market recovery," said the board. Seven more A340-600s will be withdrawn immediately. The fleet decisions lead to impairments of up to 1.1 billion euros in the current quarter.

The Corona crisis hit Europe's largest aviation group and the entire industry hard in the spring. Global air traffic has now almost come to a standstill, and intercontinental traffic has so far only returned to a very small extent. The group brands Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels are currently suffering from the complex entry restrictions of the nation states. Only the freight brings money into the till.

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