London: German carrier Lufthansa said on Thursday it will slash 22,000 jobs as it struggles to deal with the downturn in air travel caused by coronavirus pandemic.
It said the positions of up to 26,000 employees are surplus to requirements, suggesting many more jobs will be cut at the cash-strapped airline than a figure of more than 10,000 flagged a few weeks ago.
The airline employs more than 135,000 people worldwide. About half of them are in Germany. In April, the airline had said that it was losing about one million euros in liquidity reserves per hour.
Lufthansa said it will operate about 100 fewer aircraft after the crisis. Last week, it pledged a wide-ranging restructuring -- from thousands of job cuts to asset sales -- as it seeks to repay a nine billion euro government bailout and navigate deepening losses in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking after a meeting with trade unions, a company spokeswoman said the airline estimates that it has a surplus of 22,000 full-time equivalent positions or 26,000 employees.
The company is trying to reach an agreement with labour unions to make employees work part-time and other ways to cut personnel costs before it holds an extraordinary general meeting on June 25, when shareholders will vote on the bailout.
Meanwhile, the union representing pilots reportedly said its members had offered to take a cut in pay of up to 45 per cent in total amounting to about 350 million euros, but in return it wants the company to try to secure as many jobs as possible.