Lufthansa “RE-NEW” sees big changes

Lufthansa issued a lengthy statement yesterday outlining the second stage of its recovery programme.

The plan is to run through to December 2023.

These are the most important points:

  • Lufthansa is currently organised as an airline that owns other airlines as a subsidiary. That will end, with Lufthansa Group rising above Lufthansa as an airline, which will operate as an equal to Austrian, Swiss etc.
  • All Lufthansa boards will be reduced in size to save in executive pay.
  • Government loans and equity will be bought out or paid back by December 2023 as a priority, over an above making a payable shareholder profit. That’s to ensure interest charges and unwanted government influence is gotten rid of as quickly as possible.
  • Management through the entire Lufthansa Group will be reduced by 20%.
  • Lufthansa Airline will loose 1,000 managers and its transformation into a separate corporate entity under Group accelerated.
  • The airline plans on loosing 100 aircraft in total, and will permanently retire 6 A380’s, 11 A320’s and 5 744’s with immediate effect. The rest will be retired after a fleet selection revue.
  • No more than 80 new aircraft will be accepted, mostly on a one in, one out basis.
  • 22,000 staff will be made redundant over a negotiated period, but as soon as possible.
  • Germanwings will be retired permanently. Since 2016 and the pilot suicide incident that killed everyone on board an A320, Germanwings has been a wet lease operator for its sister company Eurowings. The Germanwings brand has not been used since then, although the IATA code “4U” continued to operate under the Eurowings brand until March 2018, when Germanwings’ own IATA-Code 4U was abandoned and replaced with the Eurowings designator EW. Germanwings was closed in April 2020.

Most of this isn’t entirely new. What does leave everyone wondering is what part of Lufthansa’s fleet will be dropped?

The remaining A380’s look highly vulnerable, along with the 744’s. The A346’s aren’t very economic either, and some of the A330’s are ageing. There’s a wide range of older A320/319/321 that could also see their days shortened.

Will they ever return?