This week, Lufthansa’s pilots offered to sacrifice up to 45 percent of their salaries over the next two years. In return, the staff members are seeking the securement of their positions as the carrier fights for its own survival during the global health crisis.
The whole of the group’s passenger operations have been rocked by travel restrictions, forcing flight suspensions and aircraft groundings. An agreement between the pilots’ union and management was made in March to help reduce crew costs by 50 percent in the short-term. However, new long-term measures may also be needed.
Lufthansa’s executive board spoke to trade union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) during a summit that was held on Thursday. According to the union’s website, VC president Markus Wahl highlighted the willingness of the pilots to support the needed cost-cutting measures that could be in place.
He said that the pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Aviation Training, and Germanwings are committed to their responsibility. Therefore, the union has offered the board a significant reduction in wage costs until June 30th, 2022.
This understanding of Lufthansa’s crew dates back nearly three decades. In 1992, the airline’s pilots were part of similar cost-cutting measures to save the company from going bust.
Furthermore, in a bid to help save more money, shareholders will also not receive dividends despite the business having a fruitful 2019.
Wahl states that as top-level employees, they will commit to this special responsibility, in good times and in bad, even if this means painful cuts. Ultimately, he hopes that the pilots and management can collaborate to bring the firm back to its former self. Nonetheless, he emphasizes that it is essential that jobs are preserved, and protection against dismissal is agreed upon.
It all adds up
Altogether, these concessions add up to around €350 million (US$388 million). Lufthansa is losing a whopping €1 million an hour (US$1.1 million). Therefore, the pilots would make a valuable contribution to the survival of the company with their efforts. With crew members relying on the durability of carriers to maintain their jobs, unions understand the cuts that may be needed to ensure operations stay alive.
Furthermore, subsidiary Austrian Airlines has reportedly requested €767 million ($834 million) in state aid from the government of Austria recently. In return, the state may be seeking a stake in the parent company. This move could also shake up operations over the next few years.
Simple Flying reached out to Lufthansa for comment on the pay cuts but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What are your thoughts on these salary changes? Are you affected by any airline cuts this year? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.