In view of the gloomy prospects and high losses, the Lufthansa Executive Board has now decided to make even deeper cuts in the fleet and personnel. Europe’s largest airline now wants to permanently reduce its fleet by 150 machines and cut additional jobs. However, the group did not provide details of the downsizing.
Lufthansa is now collecting the original forecast for the recovery of air traffic. The group initially assumed that demand would return to around half of the level at the end of 2019 by the end of the year. Now Lufthansa expects that for air traffic only a level of 20 to 30 percent is realistic. On the basis of the more optimistic assumptions from today’s perspective, the airline had planned to cut 100 aircraft and 22,000 jobs.
It is now estimated that around 10,000 additional jobs could be lost – provided the company cannot agree with the unions on broad-based part-time models that are widely accepted. The negotiations are stalling, especially with pilots and ground service employees. Lufthansa currently employs around 130,000 people worldwide. The company emphasizes that it wants to limit the number of redundancies for operational reasons through agreements with the employee representatives.
In addition, the new savings round will likely end the Airbus A380 mean at Lufthansa. Six machines will be returned to Airbus in 2022 anyway. The remaining eight will now be mothballed in the long term and will only be reactivated if air traffic recovers faster than expected. The same applies to the Airbus fleet A340-600which have so far also been used on long-haul routes. Due to the fleet restructuring, Lufthansa has to post impairments of 1.1 billion euros in the third quarter.
Because of the precarious situation, Lufthansa is currently making a loss of around 500 million euros every month in ongoing business. By winter, the group wants to push the minus through rigid savings to around 400 million euros. The goal remains to stop the losses completely in the course of the coming year and thus to be able to operate at a much lower level than before, it said. For example, there should be 20 percent fewer managerial positions in the first quarter of 2021. Office space will also be reduced by 30 percent in Germany. In addition, the Board of Management decided to change the management structure and to concentrate the previous group-wide matrix organization on some core functions of the various airlines.
Lufthansa is planning further cuts in staff and fleet – said CEO Carsten Spohr on Tuesday in an online question and answer session for employees. As a reason he gave weak passenger numbers. At the same time, a new conflict is emerging with the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC): the union called on the group on Thursday to conclude a collective agreement for the employees of the tourism platform “Ocean”.
Under the name “Ocean” the group wants to offer a touristic program, in which the conditions of the group-wide collective agreement should not apply. Holiday fliers should possibly take off from the hubs in Munich and Frankfurt am Main as early as next summer, which until now were largely reserved for the core workforce.
VC President Markus Wahl criticized the project. In his opinion, the time of the start in the middle of the corona crisis was chosen unhappily. The question arises as to whether Lufthansa really has to spend so much money “to compete with the already ailing carriers Condor and Tui in the tourism business.” The pilots union is assuming years of start-up losses, Wahl said on Thursday in Frankfurt.
Another point of criticism: the routes that will soon be flown by “Ocean” will be managed by employees from the group until then. Nevertheless, the jobs would be advertised again. “The employees are not considered to be set, but then have to reapply on their own routes under significantly worse conditions and can only hope for a temporary job,” continued Wahl.
Marcel Gröls, responsible for collective bargaining policy at VC, asked the group to conclude a collective bargaining agreement for “Ocean”. This platform should serve the premium segment in tourism to and from Germany – and premium has its price. Lufthansa shouldn’t be a shame to hire employees on tariff terms. If “Ocean” could only generate profit with dumping wages, the new offshoot would not be sustainably successful. In the event that Lufthansa refused, Gröls announced labor disputes: Because the employees would not allow themselves to be offered “to meet the highest quality requirements, but have to forego the security of a collective agreement.”
On Tuesday, Spohr had again brought major cuts in personnel for the entire group; He did not present any concrete plans. So far, 22,000 jobs are to be cut worldwide, which corresponds to around 26,000 employees due to the high part-time quota. The fleet is to be reduced by around 100 machines, which will primarily affect overseas trips.
The group had agreed with the flight attendants’ union UFO to forego operational dismissals in Germany. However, the Group Management Board does not feel bound by the agreement (jW reported on 9.9.2020). However, there were no collective redevelopment agreements with the unions for the pilots and the ground crew. For the VC, “Ocean” is the main obstacle to a long-term rehabilitation agreement.
TA lot of onlookers were standing at Narita Airport near Tokyo when a huge airplane from Europe floated in for the first time in spring 2019, painted in a funny turtle design. When the Japanese All Nippon Airlines (ANA) offered its first scheduled flight with this jet shortly afterwards, it was sold out in no time. The airline called its new A380 “Flying Honu”, named after an endangered sea turtle in Hawaii. The fans stood upside down, had themselves photographed in front of the giant plane before the first flight with A380 models or with turtle actors in kitschy costumes.
The Airbus A380, the largest airliner in the world, has always sparked enthusiasm among passengers and airplane fans, since its first flight with paying guests in 2007 with Singapore Airlines. ANA was the last of 15 airlines to get their A380 – that was just over a year ago.
In order to prepare for the future, Lufthansa is planning a large-scale downsizing. The airline wants to convince older cabin crew to say goodbye with a severance payment. The responsible union speaks of a “regrettably narrow package”.
Lufthansa wants to make the voluntary departure from the airline palatable for older flight attendants with a severance payment. The offer runs from the beginning of September to the end of October and is aimed at cabin employees aged at least 55 years, said a company spokesman, confirming a report by “Spiegel”. The employees should therefore receive a kind of transitional allowance every month until the earliest possible entry into regular retirement at the age of 63.
The magazine reports that employees could switch to the company pension scheme early and would receive around half of their previous earnings. Lufthansa wants to offer younger flight attendants a one-off payment if they leave the company voluntarily. According to the spokesman, this is still being negotiated.
“This is a regrettably narrow package,” criticized the flight attendant union UFO. It will not be enough to reduce the excess staff in the cabin without redundancies.
Due to the lower demand, Lufthansa expects that there will be 22,000 too many full-time positions in the company in the near future. Around half of these jobs are to be cut in Germany. According to earlier information, this applies to 2,600 employees in the cabin.
Arbitration occurs on the spot
At the same time, collective bargaining between the airline and the union is stalling. The two arbitrators Frank-Jürgen Weise and Matthias Platzeck were still in discussion, but had not yet agreed on a recommendation, it said. The Ufo named Platzeck recently said that he had largely agreed on an arbitrator’s verdict with Weise on August 19. This was then criticized by Lufthansa. If there is no agreement, the conflict over paid leave of absence for members of the UFO tariff commission could end up in court again.
The relationship between Lufthansa and UFO has been considered broken for a long time. At the end of January, both sides agreed to resolve the conflict in a multi-stage process through a “major arbitration”. In the course of the Corona crisis, they also sealed a crisis collective agreement until the end of 2023. This has not yet been achieved with the ground crew, and Lufthansa has only achieved a temporary solution with the pilots. Due to the crisis deal with UFO, only the dispute over the exemptions remained in the mediation.
It is mandatory to wear a mask on board aircraft. But how do airlines deal with passengers who refuse to do so? A cabin manager reports from TUIfly. And Lufthansa is tightening the requirements for passengers with a certificate.
| Reading time: 4 minutes
THEb out of ignorance, defiance or ideology – many people do not wear a face mask. This type of protection is particularly important in aircraft, because the minimum distance cannot be maintained. The rules of the airlines are clear: wearing a mask is compulsory, except when eating and drinking.
But how does it look in practice? How do you deal with mask refusers on board? Franziska Günther explains that, as cabin manager she is responsible for around 1,400 flight attendants at the TUIfly holiday airline.
“The behavior of the guests is very sensible, most of them support the mask requirement and show consideration for other passengers,” says Günther. Nevertheless, the mask is of course an issue. “We certainly also have guests on board who need a few more tips and who don’t take the topic so seriously. But I cannot confirm that there are mask refusers on every flight. “
When vacationers on the plane refuse to wear a mask
What if a vacationer shows himself unreasonable? “We have an escalation pyramid and a catalog of measures. First we speak to the passenger and inform them in a friendly manner about the mask requirement, ”says Günther. “This is followed by much more emphatic instructions and a warning.”
If a passenger does not respond to multiple warnings, things get serious: “If the de-escalation does not work, we create a Passenger Disturbance Report, land in between and contact the local authorities, such as the Federal Police,” says Günther, describing the process.
However, this has so far not occurred on any of the around 2000 TUIfly flights since the beginning of the corona pandemic. “We haven’t had anyone on board who didn’t want to put on the mask and whom we had to fish out before take-off,” says Günther.
In that case the machine would roll back to the gate. “The passenger would have to leave the aircraft, his luggage would be unloaded.” That leads to a delay of at least 30 minutes.
In any case, it is rare that someone does not wear a mask at all, reports the airline employee. “Much more often the mask is not put on correctly.” And most of the passengers then reacted to the hint from the crew. “But we also have masks on board, in case someone loses their mask.”
Flights in times of Corona
Even before the start there are announcements about the protective measures and the reduced service on board – among other things, that the mask may only be removed for eating and drinking. And how about the coffee trick? With Günther he doesn’t pull: “You can’t drink your coffee for three hours to be able to take off the mask. We pay attention to that. “
It is well known in aviation that alcohol is not conducive to common sense. Two drunken mask refusers recently rioted on a KLM flight to Ibiza; they were arrested on arrival.
“We have reduced the number of alcohol sold a lot,” says Günther. “In addition, the reduced service prevents a lot of beer or wine from being drunk.” In Corona times, however, you no longer have the typical party guests on board.
For people with certain medical conditions, it can actually be unreasonable to wear a face mask during a flight. “It happens that we have guests who show a certificate at check-in, at the gate or at the latest on board,” says Günther. Such passengers should be equipped with a visor. At TUIfly, the following applies here: “Anyone who has a medical certificate and a visor can fly with you.”
Lufthansa introduces compulsory testing for passengers with medical certificate
Lufthansa is tightening the mask requirement on board its planes. So far, an informal medical certificate has been enough to avoid having to wear a mouth and nose cover on board. From September 1st, passengers must also present a negative corona test, which must not be older than 48 hours for the scheduled departure.
In addition, certificates must be presented on a Lufthansa form, as the company announced in Frankfurt. The new rules will ensure better protection for all passengers, it said. They apply to all companies in the Lufthansa Group.
High costs for mask refusers:
On board an aircraft, passengers must adhere to the captain’s announcements – also with regard to the mask requirement. “The flight captain has them sovereign power on board and is the official representative of the security authorities, ”says travel lawyer Paul Degott. “He can take all necessary measures for the safety of the crew, passengers and the aircraft.”
The activities can be very far-reaching: if a passenger riot, for example in a dispute about wearing the mask, the captain can decide to make a stopover if he sees the safety of the flight at serious risk.
“That can get expensive and definitely ruin a passenger financially, ”warns Degott. The airline TUIfly confirms: If you add everything up, additional landing fees, fuel and compensation for follow-up flights could well add up to 50,000 euros.
If this decision is made, carry the passenger the blamesays Degott. The captain will have his crew behind him and will always be able to argue why a stopover was necessary. “Rioters usually have bad cards.”
There were already two changes to the Dax this year: Lufthansa was relegated in June and the insolvent Wirecard Group in August. Initially, the composition of the leading index will not change any further, but that of the MDax.
In the first stock exchange league Dax comes after the latest replacement of the insolvent Wirecard through the delivery service Delivery Hero no further changes in September.
The plastics manufacturer Covestro was able to defend his Dax place. As Deutsche Börse announced on Thursday evening in Frankfurt, there are numerous changes in the second and third rows.
RTL has to leave MDax
Im MDax there are several changes: The media group RTL must leave the index of medium-sized stocks. The company, which also owns the TV station of the same name, was promoted to the MDax in September 2013.
Because of the collapsed advertising market as a result of the Corona crisis, the share price also fell sharply. This determines the market value, one of two criteria for inclusion in an index of the Dax family.
The real estate financier Aareal Bank is also increasing into the SDax. The shop pharmacy succeeded in advancing from the SDax as a corona crisis winner and, as expected, the specialty chemicals manufacturer Wacker Chemie .
These companies are promoted to the SDax
There are also changes below the MDax. The furniture dealer Steinhoff , the engineering service provider Bertrandt, which is primarily geared towards the automotive industry and the human resource management software provider Atoss must have their seats in the SDax vacate.
The newcomers are the specialty pharmaceutical manufacturer Medios , the online fashion retailer Global Fashion Group founded by Rocket Internet among others and the Essen IT company Secunet Security .
That is why changes in the Dax are important
The changes will be implemented on Monday, September 21. Changes are particularly important for index funds, also known as ETFs.
In these, a computer algorithm simulates a stock index. So investors invest in all stocks that are listed in the index. In the ETF, changes in the index must be made accordingly, which can affect the share price.
In addition, a stock index can also be a question of prestige. As the top German stock market league, the Dax particularly attracts the interest of investors from Germany and abroad.
Even in times of Corona, it is often quite tight on board aircraft. Some airlines now offer to book a free middle seat next to your own seat for a surcharge. But not everyone thinks this is necessary.
| Reading time: 3 minutes
FAir passengers who value greater distance from fellow travelers can now book a free middle seat directly next to their own seat with some airlines for an additional charge. The Turkish holiday airline Corendon Airlines, which serves eight German airports, is now offering this “double seat” service on all routes from 39.99 euros, reports the tourism magazine “fvw”.
At the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings, a free middle seat can now be booked after the actual booking, but currently only via the call center from 18 euros per person and route. According to “fvw”, over 4,000 such spacer seats have already been sold, although the new product has not yet been advertised. An online booking option is under development.
Ferienflieger Condor has vacant middle seats from 39.99 euros on short and medium-haul flights, bookable as part of online check-in or on site at the airport. However, the prerequisite is the availability of free seats, which is why this option is only activated 24 hours before departure. If you book in Business Class with Condor, you automatically only sit by the window or aisle, so the middle seat in the row of three remains free.
Lufthansa does not think it necessary to distance itself because of Corona
Delta is the pioneer when it comes to vacant center seats: the US airline has been blocking all center seats on all aircraft at no extra charge since April and at least until September 30, in order to reduce the total number of passengers and to guarantee a distance from the direct seat neighbors.
CEO Ed Bastian has already discussed an extension beyond September, but without specifying a specific time frame. Delta’s American competitors United and American, however, do not block their center seats.
Larger European airlines such as Lufthansa or Ryanair also do not offer such a service, either with or without a surcharge. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary described a vacant center seat across from the British newspaper “The Sun” as an “idiotic idea that does nothing”.
Lufthansa’s position can be read on their website under the motto #WeCare: “Even in these special times, we attach great importance to the fact that you feel comfortable on your flight.” For Germany, the fact that some passengers would feel more comfortable with an empty seat next to them is a fact largest airline, however, not an issue.
The Lufthansa website goes on to say: “Our fresh air supply enables a complete exchange of air within about three minutes. The resulting excellent air quality, in combination with a mouth and nose cover, offers so much protection that a minimum distance to the person sitting next to you does not have to be maintained. ”
However, Lufthansa does not explain why the subsidiary airline Eurowings still markets vacant center seats.
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Lufthansa and subsidiaries have carried out every fourth deportation so far. A “Lufthansa deportation-free” campaign is starting this week.
So far, Lufthansa has carried out a quarter of all deportations Foto: Bayne Stanley/dpa
BERLINtaz | The Lufthansa #Abschiebefrei – #SayNoToDeportations campaign started on Monday with a Twitter storm. More than 20 civil society initiatives and organizations, including the refugee councils from Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt and Hamburg, are calling on Lufthansa to stop deporting its aircraft. “Lufthansa must finally stop transporting people against their will and take a clear stand against racism,” says Nadija Martin of the No Border Assembly group that initiated the campaign.
22,097 people were deported from Germany in 2019, including 3,806 minors. At 5,885, more than 25 percent of the deportations are on Lufthansa and its subsidiaries. “As part of its restart after the corona break, Lufthansa has the choice: to make serious about taking on global social responsibility or to continue to send people into misery,” Martin told taz.
Not every airline carries out deportation flights. The British airline Virgin Atlantic has been refusing to sell tickets for deportations from the UK and Australia since 2018. In 2019, six U.S. airlines, including United, Delta and American Airlines, declared that they would no longer carry children who were separated from their families at the U.S. borders.
According to Section 12 of the Aviation Security Act, pilots are allowed to take the necessary measures to avert an existing danger for people on board the aircraft or for the aircraft itself. Lufthansa Group pilots exercised this right in 309 cases in 2019, refusing to transport deportees. This results in a small request from the left in the Bundestag.
More violence in deportations
The request from the left also makes it clear that the use of “physical violence aids” increased massively in 2019 compared to the previous year. In 1,764 cases, police officers used hand and ankle cuffs, steel cuffs or so-called body cuffs to enforce deportations against the will of asylum seekers – compared to 1,231 cases in 2018 and 135 in 2015. “This brutalization of the deportation policy is worrying and must be stopped as soon as possible, ”demands the political spokeswoman for the group, Ulla Jelpke, and is thus responding to the Federal Government’s response.
As their answer shows, not only the use of restraint means, but also the number of accompanying police officers has increased significantly. While 8,100 civil servants were still deployed to provide “security escort” in 2017, the figure was 14,074 in 2019. At the same time, the total number of deportations accompanied decreased slightly. “Similar to the increased use of restraints, this is also an indication that certain deportations are being enforced with increasingly ruthless violence,” Jelpke fears.
Contrary to the accusations of the federal police, the pilot association Cockpit last stood behind flight captains in 2019 who prevent deportations of rejected asylum seekers. One is convinced that a transport would only be refused if there were any signs of a threat to the safety of the flight or other passengers, Cockpit told the editorial network Germany. Lufthansa declares to taz that deportations against the will of those affected are fundamentally rejected. You don’t comment on individual campaigns. Meanwhile, the initiating group No Border Assembly is happy about the success of the Twitter storm. “Many users have already picked up on our hashtags #Schiebefrei and #SayNoToDeportations,” explains spokeswoman Martin.
Like the parent company Lufthansa and the Swiss sister company Swiss, Austrian Airlines (AUA) is working flat out to reimburse customers for ticket prices for corona-related flight cancellations. She also wants to complete the refunds for canceled tickets by the end of August, as a spokesman said to the APA in the afternoon.
“We have now made this a priority,” he emphasized. The situation for AUA – compared to Lufthansa and Swiss – is made more difficult by the high number of landing bans recently imposed by domestic politicians due to the corona pandemic. The AUA had already announced two weeks ago that it would speed up the payment of ticket refunds and wanted to be ready within eight weeks by the end of August.
“Any customer who has requested a refund will also receive it,” was confirmed at the time by AUA CEO Andreas Otto. The volume of inquiries reached a historical level in the corona crisis, one is aware that the situation is not satisfactory for the passengers and one apologizes for it.
Lufthansa said on Monday that they wanted to process all refunds for flights by the end of June within four to six weeks – until about the end of August – so far, 1.4 billion euros had already been paid.
In principle, the airlines must refund the ticket price within seven days in the event of cancellations. The AUA mother and other companies, on the other hand, had initially opted to pay off the customers with vouchers. However, this failed due to the EU Commission. The group recently announced that it would remove the traffic jam by mid-August. At the end of June, however, around half a billion of the reimbursements were still outstanding with around one billion euros.