As Covid-19 has interrupted air traffic and decreased fleet demand, Lufthansa has sacked 103 of its 135 cabin crew in India.
The German airline, which conducted 42 pre-lockdown flights a week to India, is now running 10 services a week under an air travel bubble. The flight attendants in India were placed on leave without pay for two years, but the airline eventually agreed to lay them off when they were unable to reach a deal with them. The airline in India has maintained 32 permanent crew members, it has been heard.
Affected crew members in Delhi on Friday called the sacking unjust and are preparing to protest against it. “The crew were put on two years leave without pay due to Covid-19. All that we were asking was an assurance that staff will be retained on completion of two years and there would be no termination. But the airline was reluctant to give assurance. They terminated us without warning. No such terminations have happened in Germany,” said one member of the affected crew.
In a report, Lufthansa confirmed that its transformation is not limited to a single sector.
‘Despite our current cash burn of several hundred million euros a month, Lufthansa must take action to protect its future, like all airlines worldwide. As we have to prepare for 150 fewer aircraft in the long run (by 2025), it follows that the needed cabin employees are also impacted in all our markets. Low demand for international air travel, particularly as a result of government regulations, still leaves cabin employees with little to no jobs’, the airline said in a statement.