With no hope of returning to pre-COVID levels of demand for at least another five years, German airline, Lufthansa, has decided to let go about 29,000 employees by the end of this year. Next year, it will cut about 10,000 jobs in Germany.
Outside Germany, the airline will let go about 20,000 employees, including 7,500 from its catering unit, which it is selling off. The subsidiaries of the airline, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines, have also been forced to reduce flights and lay off many of their ground staff.
The German government had provided financial assistance in the form of €9 billion to the airline, of which €3 billion have already been consumed. Therefore, there is no other alternative left except job cuts.
Apparently, Lufthansa’s workforce has an excess of over 27,000 full-time employees. The German airline had assured the labour unions that it would not resort to forced redundancies in exchange for bonuses or other benefits.
Most of the members of the Verdi trade union, who work as ground staff, were in favour of applying cost-cutting measures to save jobs. The trade unions had been in negotiation with the Lufthansa management for some time and even accused them of considering lay offs despite receiving financial aid from the government to keep the airline running. A formal announcement is expected soon from Lufthansa.