It appears as though Lufthansa is due to decide the future of Germanwings, an airline that it wholly owns. The airline’s management will reportedly discuss the issue at a management board meeting today, according to sources.
Germanwings is an airline that is wholly operated by Lufthansa. However, it doesn’t operate any of its own flights. Instead, it operates flights for Eurowings under a wet-lease contract. Eurowings is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group. The airline offers low-cost flights, both short- and long-haul. However, Germanwings only operates some of Eurowings’ short-haul flights.
End of Germanwings?
According to Reuters, a meeting will today be held to decide the future of Germanwings. The publication reported that,
“Lufthansa will discuss permanently grounding its Germanwings low-cost airline unit at a management board meeting on Tuesday, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.”
However, Reuters goes on to point out that it is possible that no firm decision comes from today’s meeting of the board. A Lufthansa spokesperson declined to comment on the matter to Simple Flying. However, Reuters reports that a spokesperson said that no decisions had been taken. Additionally, all options remain under consideration as the Lufthansa Group looks to maintain cash.
Several German unions are understandably unhappy with this uncertainty. The UFO flight attendant union is known for rallying Lufthansa employees against the company in a series of strikes in the latter half of 2019. In a German-language press release emailed to Simple Flying, the union said: “employee representatives expect that later this week the closure of the Lufthansa subsidiary to be announced. “
It went on to further allege that the Lufthansa Group was using the current crisis to “force” a long-planned restructure of the group. As a result, the UFO union warns that the jobs of 1,400 employees are at risk. So far, a petition set up by the union has received 9,787 signatures at the time of writing. This is out of a goal of 10,000 signatures.
A bit about Germanwings
Quite frankly, the fact that Germanwings exists purely to operate flights for Eurowings does get a little bit confusing, so let us take a little look at what exactly Germanwings is as an airline. According to Planespotters, Germanwings has a current fleet of 15 aircraft. These come from the Airbus A320 family.
Germanwings was initially set up as a division of Eurowings but became a separate airline in 2002. In 2009 the airline became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa, then in 2015, Lufthansa decided that Germanwings would be integrated into Eurowings. The airline still exists, however, it now only operates flights for Eurowings. Despite mostly wearing a Eurowings livery, small clues point to the fact that flights are operated by Germanwings.
Do you think Lufthansa should close Germanwings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.