The board of directors of the battered Lufthansa acceptedfor a government bailout. The airline announced on Monday after a meeting of the panel. To do this, Lufthansa has to surrender take-off and landing rights in Frankfurt and Munich. Shareholders should now approve the multi-billion dollar rescue package at an extraordinary general meeting on June 25. Formal approval from Brussels is still pending.
"After an intensive discussion, we decided to agree to the proposal of the board," said Karl-Ludwig Kley, chairman of the supervisory board. In front of Lufthansa there was "a very difficult way".
CEO Carsten Spohr said that stabilizing Lufthansa was not an end in itself. "Together with the Federal Government, it must be our goal to defend our top position in global air traffic. We are grateful to all those involved in stabilization, including our customers, employees and shareholders, for this perspective," Spohr is quoted in the message.
Spohr announces talks with unions
Spohr also announced talks with the unions about capacity adjustments. "The expected slow market recovery in global aviation makes an adjustment of our capacities inevitable. The board wants to talk to the social and tariff partners about a socially responsible cushioning of the effects," said Spohr.
The group has taken a big step further. At the last supervisory board meeting last Wednesday, the supervisory board still had the decision to accept the state bailout package for nine billion euros. The reason given by the company in Frankfurt was the possible conditions imposed by the EU Commission, which could check the take-off and landing rights at various airports in the event of state aid.
The next step is the approval by the Annual General Meeting on June 25 of the rescue plan including conditions. This provides for the state economic stabilization fund to subscribe to shares in the course of a capital increase in order to build up a 20 percent stake in the airline's share capital. In addition, silent deposits totaling up to EUR 5.7 billion and a loan of up to EUR 3 billion are planned.
Lufthansa surrenders 24 slots in Munich and Frankfurt
Shortly before Pentecost, it became known that the board had previously negotiated between Berlin and Brussels. This stipulates that Lufthansa must hand over 24 take-off and landing rights – so-called slots – to a competitor for up to four aircraft at its most important airports in Munich and Frankfurt.
– So the negotiations for this number were tough: initially there was talk of 20 aircraft with up to 80 slots, then the EU went down to just under 50 slots. The company initially only offered to temporarily do without 3 take-off and landing pairs.
The European market leader is running the risk of running out of money because the travel restrictions in the fight against the pandemic have almost stopped passenger traffic since March.