Up To 26,000 Job Cuts Possible At Lufthansa

Up to 26,000 job cuts are possible at the German aviation giant Lufthansa. The news comes as Lufthansa’s shareholders prepare to vote on a €9 billion ($10.3 billion) bailout with conditions such as slot losses at key airports attached.

Lufthansa, Cabin Crew, Strike
Lufthansa has told that up to 26,000 jobs could be cut. Photo: Lufthansa

Every airline is struggling due to the current crisis. With the industry expecting any recovery to last until at least 2023, it is clear that not as many employees will be needed in the coming years. As such, many airlines are currently looking to reduce their workforce to levels more manageable over the coming years. However, Lufthansa’s 26,000 jobs seem to be one of the higher figures seen so far.

26,000 employees at risk

Lufthansa yesterday revealed that it has too many staff. Indeed, 26,000 positions are at risk as part of a cost-cutting measure. However, as some jobs are part-time, the 26,000 jobs equate to 22,000 full-time positions.

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According to its Q1 financial report, the Lufthansa Group had 136,966 employees as of March 31st. As such, around 19% of the entire Lufthansa Group workforce is affected by the latest announcement.

Lufthansa, Job Cuts, Bailout
Lufthansa is hoping to take advantage of a €9 billion bailout. Photo: Alex Tino Friedel via Lufthansa

Of course, this 136,966 employees relate to the group as a whole, meaning employees from SWISS, Austrian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines are also included. Some of these airlines have separately announced proposed job cuts. For example, Brussels Airlines currently believes it will cut its workforce by 25%.

Michael Niggemann, Labor Director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, commented on the situation, saying,

“Without a significant reduction in personnel costs during the crisis, we will miss the opportunity of a better restart from the crisis and risk that the Lufthansa Group will emerge from the crisis significantly weakened.

He went on to add,

“In addition, the personnel overhang is likely to become even larger, so that a reduction of this personnel overhang through the implementation of unilateral measures would be inevitable. We want to avoid this scenario. That is why we are doing everything we can to achieve concrete results with our collective bargaining partners by June 22nd, 2020.”

Lufthansa, Job Cuts, Bailout
Shareholders will vote on the bailout deal on June 25th. Photo: Alex Tino Friedel via Lufthansa

Bailout vote imminent

The Lufthansa supervisory board approved a €9 billion bailout on June 1st. However, this still needs to be voted through by shareholders. The vote will take place at an extraordinary general meeting on June 25th.

As part of the bailout, Lufthansa will have to agree to conditions place by the European Union. This includes the loss of some critical slots at airports such as Frankfurt and Munich. Wizz Air’s CEO said that his company could be interested in principle, should such slots become available.

The UFO cabin crew union yesterday warned that “Bankruptcy is still at risk if the rescue package is rejected by the shareholders.” They went on to add that they will do everything they can to find a solution before the meeting on June 25th.

What do you make of Lufthansa’s proposed job-cuts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!