The news of the cuts had an immediate political effect, as the group agreed on a 9 billion euro rescue package with the German government, and a 20% state stake. It was the opposition that arose today, with Verdi and Linke asking Merkel’s executive to sit again at the table with the flag carrier, to retract the conditions of the agreement.
Lufthansa, like the entire aviation sector, has been paralyzed by the pandemic, with serious budgetary effects. It has long since announced a recovery plan, and from June 22 it will slip out of the Dax.
The company aims to avoid dry layoffs, thanks to “partial unemployment” and agreements negotiated with unions. The group, which also owns the European companies Swiss, Austrian, Brussel Airlines and Eurowings, has 135,000 employees worldwide. At the beginning of June, the head of the group Carsten Spohr had estimated the number of excess employees at only 10,000. But “air traffic demand will pick up visibly very slowly,” said the airline, which also plans to cut 100 of the 763 aircraft in its fleet.
“Without a significant reduction in personnel costs during the crisis, we will ruin the possibility of a better restart and risk weakening Lufthansa,” comments Michael Niggemann, head of human resources on the group’s board of directors. The coronavirus pandemic had a strong impact on the activity of the main European air group. Lufthansa posted a net loss of 2.1 billion euros in the first quarter of 2020.
In the coming months the group will certainly increase in power after relaunching some routes in June, but in terms of airline seats the group will return to 40% in September. To overcome the crisis, Lufthansa received 9 billion euros in public aid and credits guaranteed by the German state, subject to the state’s entry into the capital.