Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt.

MIAMI – Lufthansa AG (LH) and Pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) have today finalized a short-term crisis package agreement.

The Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the Air Transport Employers’ Association (Arbeitgeberverband Luftverkehr), and the VC committees approved the package of measures effective immediately.

The measures include Pilot contributions through December 2020 and redundancies set for Q2 2021. Despite these plans, some reconciliations of interests and social packages are still being in negotiations.

In the long-term, the airline and union agreed on contributions by Pilots and the need to limit redundancies. Previously, the LH had announced some necessary redundancies throughout its companies.

The measures agreed will apply for Pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Aviation Training and some from Germanwings.

In July, Lufthansa Group announced that it had 22,000 personnel surplus in full-time positions distributed in its businesses. Photo: Michael Montero.

Detailed Pilot Contributions

From September and throughout the end of this year, LH will reduce top-up Pilot payments for short-time working compensation benefits.

In addition, the airline will apply cost reductions in Pilot compensation adjustments and pension benefits. This entails that the negotiated collective wage increment for 2020 will be postponed to January 2021.

During second quarter of 2020, the group recorded €1.7bn operating loss.
Lufthansa Airbus A330-343 D-AIKO. Photo: Vincenzo Pace

Postponed Layoffs

Regarding its business operations, LH will maintain Pilot jobs until March 2021. But the overcapacity will last over that period.

By concluding a long-term crisis agreement, the airline could limit these redundancies for operational reasons.

This plan, therefore, implies that some costs of personnel surplus could be compensated for by a corresponding reduction. This related to working hours and salary for the period of the crisis.

Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr said that he did not expect demand for air travel to return to pre-crisis levels until 2024.
Lufthansa AirbusA330-300 Photo: BriYYZ.

Further Related Operations

Alongside the postponed redundancies, the carrier will not hire new Pilots outside the Group for all German flight operations.

As there is an overcapacity of cockpit staff, the later measure will also apply for tourist-oriented flight operations.

Apart from this, LH and VC said that remaining negotiations are more advanced at Germanwings. Unfortunately, this is due to the fact that the subsidiary does not expect to continue flying due to the pandemic crisis.

Featured image: Lufthansa Airbus A320-211. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt.

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