Lufthansa has terminated the services of 103 India-based flight attendants after they allegedly sought “job assurance” from the management while the German airlines group had offered them leave without pay option for two years, sources close to the developments said. These employees had been working on a fixed-term contract with the airline and some of them were with the carrier for more than 15 years, the sources added.
A Lufthansa spokesperson said that severe financial impact of the pandemic has left it with no choice but to restructure the airline and as part of that, “it will not be extending the fixed-term employment contracts of its Delhi-based flight attendants.”
According to the spokesperson, Indian cabin crew with unlimited contracts remains unaffected from restructuring as it “was able to reach individual agreements with these flight attendants”.
“Lufthansa regrets to confirm that it will not be extending the fixed-term employment contracts of its Delhi-based flight attendants. The severe financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic leaves Lufthansa no choice but to restructure the airline. This includes personnel-related measures in Germany and Europe as well as in key international markets like India,” the statement said.
It added: “Given our current cash burn of several hundred million euros every month, Lufthansa – like all airlines worldwide – must take steps to secure its future, it said, adding that “since we must plan with 150 fewer aircraft in the long run (by 2025) it follows that required cabin staff in all our markets is also affected.”
Even now, the statement said that low demand for international air travel resulting particularly from government restrictions leaves cabin staff with little or no work left to do.
Lufthansa said it was willing to “absorb” all associated premiums during this period but unfortunately, consent to the agreement was revoked by the union on December 31.
The sources, however, alleged that Lufthansa terminated the services of 103 Delhi-based flight attendants on fixed-term contracts overnight, without serving any prior notice to them, citing the coronavirus pandemic.