The Coronavirus pandemic continues having a very serious impact on airlines and its employees. After two years in "crisis mode," Lufthansa Group flight operations still has to cope with half the number of passengers in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2019.
For captains, the crisis-related Lufthansa Airlines staff surplus has already been reduced in a socially acceptable way with a successful voluntary leave program. Lufthansa also plans to offer first officers the opportunity to exit from their contracts. Additionally, collective part-time agreements can also alleviate existing personnel surplus. Lufthansa continues to discussing this with its social partners.
This means, Lufthansa Airlines will waive compulsory redundancies for cockpit staff.
Michael Niggemann, Executive Board Member for Human Resources and Legal Affairs at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: "We have worked hard in recent weeks and months to avert compulsory redundancies for the cockpit staff of our core brand – despite the pandemic’s serious impact. It is a great success that we have succeeded to do so."
The global crisis made painful decisions unavoidable in almost all companies of Lufthansa Group. For example, passenger flight operations of Germanwings was permanently suspended. Some pilots were and can still be transferred to Eurowings until 31 March 2022. An additional 80 pilots will join Lufthansa Airlines in Munich. Solutions continue being sought for all other pilots affected, thereby offering the prospect of continued employment in an existing or newly established Lufthansa Group flight operation.
For pilots 55 and older, Lufthansa Cargo offers a voluntary early retirement program. A remaining need for further reductions will be accomplished by a voluntary leave program designed to avert compulsory redundancies, including pilots not close to retirement age, or possible transfers to Lufthansa Airlines. The goal is to find solutions together with the social partners.
Better prospects in the long term
In the long term, the global recovery in demand for air transport will again lead to significantly better prospects for pilots – both within and outside the Lufthansa Group. For this reason, the Lufthansa Group's new flight school under the umbrella of Lufthansa Aviation Training will start training new pilots as of summer 2022. The theoretical part of the approximately 24-month training program will take place in Bremen or Zurich; the practical part will take place at locations in Goodyear, Arizona/USA, Grenchen/Switzerland or Rostock-Laage/Germany. In the future, training will lead to receiving an EASA-certified ATP license that qualifies for entry-level positions within and outside the Lufthansa Group. The goal is quality training and maximizing career prospects for graduates.