German press agency DPA today reports that aviation trade unions Ufo and Vereinigung Cockpit are accusing Lufthansa of using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse for restructuring its subsidiary Germanwings to the point that its closure seems inevitable, adding that the 1,400 workers would be threatened by unemployment. Lufthansa last week rejected a union proposal to implement shortened work hours at Germanwings, which would have saved jobs in the short term.
A Lufthansa spokesman said on Monday that no decisions had been taken and that the rumours of closure were “speculation”. He added that all options were being considered to cut costs after the loss of business caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Lufthansa should discuss the fate of Germanwings at a management board meeting on Tuesday.
Launched in 2002, Germanwings operated independently as Lufthansa’s low-cost carrier until October 2015, when Lufthansa decided to transfer the brand identity of its short haul-product to Eurowings. The Germanwings fleet consists of 23 Airbus A319 and 10 A320 aircraft, wet-leased for its sister company Eurowings.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Eurowings had set a target of concentrating its fleet, which spans three operations, into a single one.