The corona crisis leads to a clear cut. The Lufthansa Group reduces its aircraft fleet by about a tenth. This affects employees and wet lease partners.
It’s announced bad news. «We have a smaller Lufthansa Group ahead of us,» said Group CEO Carsten Spohr two and a half weeks ago about the time after the corona crisis. It is now clear what this means for the individual airlines: they are all set to shrink in the coming months.
The Lufthansa Executive Board announced on Tuesday (7 April) that they do not expect «a rapid return of the air transport industry to pre-crisis levels». According to his assessment, it will take «months until the global travel restrictions are lifted and years until the worldwide demand for air travel returns to pre-crisis levels». The consequences will be severe cuts throughout the Group.
«Adverse eco-efficiency and profitability»
Lufthansa itself is decommissioning six of its 14 Airbus A380s. They would have been sold to Airbus from 2022 on anyway, but they are now being adopted. The other biplane is also in for a rough ride. The German airline is taking out five of its 13 Boeing 747-400s. It is also taking seven of 17 Airbus A340-600s out of service. These two models are being taken out of service for reasons of «detrimental eco-efficiency and economy», Lufthansa said in a press release.
It is not only the long-haul offer in Frankfurt and Munich that is being reduced. Lufthansa Cityline is also taking three A340-300s out of service. The regional airline used them to fly to long-haul tourist destinations for Lufthansa. Eurowings’ long-haul tourist offering, for which Lufthansa is commercially responsible, is also being reduced.
Eurowings, Austrian, Brussels and Swiss will also be downsized
The Group is also reducing its short-haul business. Lufthansa takes eleven Airbus A320s out of service. At Eurowings, the fleet will also be «further reduced», according to the announcement. It is already clear that ten A320s are no longer needed.
In addition to the German airlines, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines must also reduce their aircraft fleet. But the Lufthansa Group is not yet taking concrete action. Swiss is not getting off scot-free either. The Swiss subsidiary will «adjust its fleet size by delaying the delivery of ordered short- and medium-haul aircraft». In addition, it is considering the early withdrawal of older aircraft.
The reduction of the fleet by about one tenth also means a reduction of jobs. Roughly speaking, an airline can create 60 to 70 jobs per aircraft. All in all, this is about 4000 jobs.
The goal is still to offer as many employees as possible «continued employment within the Lufthansa Group», according to the Group. To this end, talks with the social partners are to begin immediately. New employment models are the topic.
… partner airlines also affected
It also affects partner airlines. «Almost all wet lease agreements with other airlines have already been terminated,»Lufthansa announced. The largest partners include Helvetic Airways and German Airways.