Air traffic

Developments in global air traffic create new opportunities for Lufthansa Group pilots

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a very serious impact on airlines and their employees. After two years in “crisis mode”, the flight operations of the Lufthansa Group still have 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 surplus of Lufthansa Airlines staff has already been reduced in a socially acceptable way through a successful voluntary leave program. Lufthansa also plans to offer co-pilots the option of exiting their contracts. In addition, part-time collective agreements can also reduce existing surplus staff. Lufthansa continues to discuss this with its social partners.

This means that Lufthansa Airlines will waive mandatory layoffs for cockpit staff.

Michael Niggemann, Member of the Board of Human Resources and Legal Affairs of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “We have worked hard over the past few weeks and months to avoid mandatory layoffs for our core brand’s cockpit staff – despite the severe impact of the pandemic. It is a great success that we managed to do this.”

The global crisis has made painful decisions inevitable in almost all Lufthansa Group companies. For example, Germanwings passenger flight operations have been permanently suspended. Some pilots have been and can still be transferred to Eurowings until March 31, 2022. 80 additional pilots will join Lufthansa Airlines in Munich. Solutions continue to be sought for all other affected pilots, offering the prospect of continued employment in an existing or newly established Lufthansa Group flight operation.

For pilots aged 55 and over, Lufthansa Cargo offers a voluntary early retirement program. A remaining need for further reductions will be met by a voluntary leave program designed to avoid compulsory redundancies, including pilots who are not close to retirement age, or possible transfers to Lufthansa Airlines. The objective is to find solutions with the social partners.

Better long-term prospects

In the long term, the global recovery in air travel demand will once again lead to much better prospects for pilots, both within and outside the Lufthansa Group. This is why the new flight school of the Lufthansa Group under the umbrella of Lufthansa Aviation Training will start training new pilots from summer 2022. The theoretical part of the approximately 24-month training program will take place in Bremen or in Zürich; the practical part will take place at sites in Goodyear, Arizona/USA, Grenchen/Switzerland or Rostock-Laage/Germany. Going forward, the training will lead to an EASA-certified ATP license which qualifies for entry-level positions within and outside the Lufthansa Group. The objective is quality training and the maximization of career prospects for graduates.