MIAMI – The Lufthansa Group’s Executive Board of Directors has agreed on the first restructuring package, following the heavy disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main theme of this package is a significant withdrawal of aircraft in its fleet, with the Group saying that it will “be implemented in a socially responsible manner, among other things, through collective employment models.”
First of all, the main Lufthansa wing will permanently decommission six Airbus A380, seven A340-600 as well as five Boeing 747-400 aircraft. On top of this, 11 Airbus A320 will be withdrawn from its short-haul operations.
These six A380 that were mentioned were to be originally sold back to Airbus in 2022, but have been fast-tracked in the wake of this pandemic.
The Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A340-600 withdrawals were decided “based on the environmental as well as economic disadvantages of these aircraft types,” the statement said.
This means that Lufthansa will be reducing capacity at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs accordingly.
For Lufthansa’s CityLine fleet, three Airbus A340-300 aircraft will be withdrawn from use, restricting it back to its conventional short-haul aircraft like the Airbus A319, Embraer E195, and Bombardier CRJs.
Eurowings will also be seeing a reduction in numbers, with ten of its short-haul Airbus A320s to be phased out of the fleet.
The Group did add that the long-haul wing of Eurowings will also be reduced but gave no indication of numbers. There are currently 11 Airbus A330 in that fleet.
The Lufthansa Group added further comments about those employed in the business, aiming to minimize job losses where possible.
“The aim remains the same for all employees affected by the restructuring measures: to offer as many people as possible continued employment within the Lufthansa Group. Therefore, talks with unions and workers councils are to be arranged quickly to discuss, among other things, new employment models in order to keep as many jobs as possible.”
For the SWISS, Austrian and Brussels Airlines wings, it is understood that restructuring programs over there will be further intensified.
Austrian was the first in the Lufthansa Group to fully shut its operations, keeping only one narrow-body and one wide-body aircraft available for any relief or repatriation flights.
Brussels Airlines also followed suit but placing 4,200 employees on a temporary technical unemployment basis. The carrier will not restart its operations before May 15.
As for SWISS, it has cut half its fleet as well as cutting work hours for employees, with the Lufthansa Group planning to scrap its annual dividend.