Lufthansa closes Germanwings and shrinks fleet

In view of the dramatic aviation crisis as a result of the corona pandemic, Lufthansa decided on a first drastic restructuring program on Tuesday. Around 70 jets will be shut down or corresponding leasing contracts terminated. With Germanwings, the first subsidiary now falls victim to this.

Operation of the airline with its 30 machines and around 1400 employees, of which 900 for the cabin and 500 pilots, will be terminated with immediate effect. However, the jets had been on the ground for almost three weeks. In the past few days, the Pilots Association Cockpit (VC) and the flight attendant union Ufo have protested massively against the end for Germanwings, among other things with a petition that more than 10. 000 people have signed.

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The Lufthansa Executive Board under its boss Carsten Spohr sees no alternative to the drastic restructuring of the company. According to the governing body, it will “take months for global travel restrictions to be lifted completely and years for global air travel to return to pre-crisis levels”. The Executive Board is also currently negotiating state aid with the Federal Government. Talks about a loan from the KfW development bank are apparently also underway.

Lufthansa wants to implement restructuring process

The board now wants to quickly agree on talks with the social partners to talk about employment models to secure as many jobs as possible. The aim was still to offer as many of those affected by the measures as possible to continue working within the Lufthansa Group. Germanwings had only flown for Eurowings recently. Lufthansa had already planned to bundle the daughter's flight operations. So far four companies have been flying for Eurowings, in addition to Germanwings there are Sunexpress and Brussels Airlines.

However, almost all companies in the group are affected by the first restructuring package, which will obviously be followed by others. The austerity programs at Austrian Airlines and Brussels are being further tightened, among other things by reducing the fleets. At Swiss, delivery of new aircraft is delayed and older models are retired earlier than planned.

Lufthansa cuts the number of its own aircraft in its own company by a total of 35. Six of the 14 double-decker Airbus A 380 will be shut down. They should be sold to Airbus anyway 2022. In addition, five of the total 32 jumbos 747 – 400 and seven long-haul jets type Airbus A 340 – 600 decommissioned, also because they have disadvantages for the economy and the environmental balance.

2019 it was still 763 Aircraft

On the short-haul route, the board decided to end eleven Airbus A 320. Lufthansa Cityline also has three A 340 – 300 victim of the restructuring. You have been traveling long distances since 2015. At Eurowings, the fleet is reduced by ten A 320, there should also be cuts on the long haul. Lufthansa has already canceled all contracts for the so-called wet lease – the rental of jets with crew – from other airlines. This includes around 30 machines. At the end 2019 the Lufthansa fleet comprised 763 planes.

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With the decommissioning of the jets in the medium term, too Personnel cuts will become inevitable. Only for the operation of an A 380 are about 400 Workplaces on the plane and on the ground necessary. With other long-haul machines it is a little less. Lufthansa currently employs well worldwide 138. 000 People. Round 90. 000 have already been sent in short-time work.

The airline has now the flight offer at 95 Percent cut. Every day she only sends 50 machines on the trip. 700 of the 763 planes are on parked in various airports. 2019 Lufthansa still had the largest airline in Europe 145. 200 carried passengers and 1.2 million flights handled – more than ever before.