Lufthansa has presented a third major package of measures, including additional fleet cuts, amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.
The German flag-carrier now expects an even slower recovery of demand for air travel, compared to the forecast it made in summer which saw about half the available seat kilometres return by the end of 2020. Lufthansa will only operate 20 to 30 percent of its service (compared to 2019 levels) in the final quarter of this year. As a result, there will be even more fleet and job cuts than previously planned.
Its fleet of originally 14 Airbus A380 was already cut down to eight aircraft earlier this year. Now, Lufthansa is also putting the remaining superjumbo aircraft into long-term storage and removing them from future fleet planning. It states that these aircraft will only be reactivated in the event of a significantly faster than expected recovery in demand. This is seen by many as highly unlikely.
On top of that, Lufthansa will now completely decommission seven of 17 Airbus A340-600. The other ten are kept in long-term storage just like the A380. These new long-term groundings combined result in an additional impairment of about 1.1 billion Euros (US $1.3 billion), according to the airline.
Previously, Lufthansa said that the equivalent of around 22,000 full-time positions would be lost in the Coronavirus crisis. As it is now cutting its fleet even more, the amount of affected employees will further increase. The company has not yet provided updated numbers on estimated job losses. In the first quarter of 2021, it will implement a reduction of management positions of about 20 percent, the airline says. Administrative office space will be reduced by 30 percent in Germany.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.