Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Austrian Airlines division will shrink to 80% of the size it was before the coronavirus crisis, Chief Executive Officer Alexis von Hoensbroech said in an interview with the newspaper Der Standard.
“From today’s perspective that would mean that we have 1,100 employees too many,” he said. “We are planning two years of short-hours work, so there can be no layoffs for that long,” but a large part of the planned reduction by 2022 will be through staff turnover, he added.
Without government aid, the airline would have slipped into a self-administered reorganization or insolvency, and with the former Austrian Airlines would have been forced to lay off 2,500 employees immediately, von Hoensbroech said. In the event of bankruptcy, most of the employees would have been cut.
Austrian Airlines will get 150 million euros ($169 million) in direct aid, plus 300 million euros in loans underwritten by the government, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a briefing on Monday. Lufthansa has already won European Union backing for a 9 billion-euro package from Germany and secured $1.3 billion in state support for its Swiss arm.