Lufthansa will have shed 27,000 jobs by year end – further cuts expected in 2021

©Lufthansa

According to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Lufthansa, along with its subsidiaries Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines will have cut its workforce by 27,000 by the end of 2020 to help mitigate the catastrophic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel.

20,000 of those jobs will employees based outside Germany, while approximately 7,500 staff will no longer be under the group’s umbrella when its catering unit, LSG, is sold. The newspaper further reports that Germany’s flagship carrier will shed a further 10,000 jobs in 2021 as it does not anticipate passenger numbers will recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

Having secured a €9 billion government bailout earlier in the year, Lufthansa has already burned through €3 billion of it. According to Chief Executive Carsten Spohr last month, Lufthansa has 27,000 too many full-time equivalent staff, though it had promised unions not to make forced redundancies in return for cuts to bonuses and other payments.

A deal to cut costs and save jobs at Lufthansa has won the support of a majority of the Verdi trade union members who work for the German airline as ground staff, according to the results of a ballot. A formal announcement is expected today (Monday.) The deal with Verdi followed months of on-off talks, during which the union accused management of seeking to cut jobs even after taking a bailout to keep its planes flying. (€1.00 = US$1.21 at time of publication.)

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