April 3, 2020, 10:46 pm
Lufthansa wants to slim Eurowings down to an AOC. This also applies to long distances. In the corona crisis, the unions of the Eurowings partner airlines Germanwings, Brussels Airlines and Sunexpress Germany are now afraid of a quick end.
The unions for pilots and flight attendants have reacted indignantly to the Lufthansa Group’s threat to shut down the subsidiary flight company “Germanwings” in the dispute over short-time work.
According to airliners.de information, in addition to Germanwings, Lufthansa is also questioning Eurowings long-haul operations. The Eurowings long-haul routes operated by Brussels Airlines in Düsseldorf should therefore no longer take off the entire summer flight schedule.
Lufthansa had “only” extended its Corona emergency flight schedule until the beginning of May. The Brussels employees in Düsseldorf would be sent short-time work until the end of October, according to trade union circles. What happened to the long-haul route in Düsseldorf in winter was not clear even before Corona.
Sunexpress Germany, which is also known to fly long-haul flights for Eurowings, is currently reported to be subject to considerable uncertainty: instead of a short-term collective agreement, the airline is apparently sending termination agreements to flying personnel to terminate their employment.
Sunexpress disagreed with this presentation. “In fact, we are currently in constructive negotiations on a short-term work contract and are convinced that we will find a good solution here in a timely manner,” said a spokeswoman. It is not correct that Sunexpress sends cancellation contracts for the flying personnel. “It is and remains our top priority to be able to keep all employees on board even in this difficult crisis.”
Restructuring at Lufthansa and Eurowings
Operational responsibility for the long-haul aircraft in the Eurowings branding had already passed into the hands of Lufthansa last year. Since then, they have been working on restructuring the long-haul tourism business. The plans include, among other things, bundling the long-distance tourist routes in an AOC by 2022.
Even before the Corona crisis, Eurowings had already formulated the goal of concentrating its fleet, which had previously been largely divided into three flight operations, on one. Germanwings has a survival guarantee until 2022. Instead of shrinking, however, Germanwings should take over the base in Munich from the Austrian subsidiary Eurowings Europe this summer for operational reasons and even grow for it.
Also read: Lufthansa lets Germanwings grow again
Ufo and Vereinigung Cockpit react horrified
While the Vereinigung Cockpit accused the Lufthansa executive board of lack of concept on Friday, UFO spokesman Nicoley Baublies spoke of a deliberate stoking of fear among Germanwings employees.
The Cologne-based company with 30 aircraft and around 1400 employees has not flown under its own name for years, but is only traveling for Eurowings. Both unions questioned the employer argument that the economic situation does not justify the adoption of the Lufthansa regulations. After all, it is a 100 percent daughter.
However, the Lufthansa Eurowings business unit, which includes Brussels Airlines, Germanwings and the stake in Sunexpress in addition to the core brand, is the problem child in the group: Even if things went better with Eurowings recently, the bottom line in 2019 was a hefty minus of 166 Million Euros. In 2018 it was a loss of 231 euros.
At Germanwings, which started in 2002, some pilots still work according to the rules of the Lufthansa Group contract and are therefore comparatively expensive.
Also read: Lufthansa agrees on short-time work with pilots and questions Germanwings
According to information from airliners.de, the survival of Germanwings depends largely on whether and how Lufthansa will agree with the pilot representatives of Germanwings. The background is that the crane is reluctant to include Germanwings’ KTV pilots in their ranks, as they would then be entitled to the normal career ladder at Lufthansa.