Lufthansa hits turbulence over top job choice

Lufthansa has been thrown into a tailspin by the resignation of its designated chief just a day before he was due to take over, leaving the company scrambling to find a replacement before Tuesday's shareholders' meeting.

Lufthansa hits turbulence over top job choice
Not up for the job - Mayrhuber Photo: DPA

The airline confirmed a report in Monday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung which said that Wolfgang Mayrhuber had withdrawn his candidature for the chairmanship of the supervisory board, which was due to be approved at Tuesday’s meeting.

Mayrhuber, 66, who has served as Lufthansa’s CEO, was nominated to take over from Jürgen Weber, but has been increasingly under fire for strategic errors during his time at the helm between 2003 and 2010.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a consultant firm, advised its customers who between them hold around 36 percent of Lufthansa’s shares to vote against Mayrhuber.

It criticised him for having too much else on his plate – he is also on the supervisory boards of BMW, Munich Re insurance company and Infineon semiconductor producer.

There has also not been a long enough gap between his time as top executive and his proposed position as chief supervisor. He was initially planning to make the shift in 2011, but decided to abide by corporate governance guidelines and wait two years.

The supervisory board – operating under Weber – announced on Monday it would have another suggestion for the job by Tuesday.

DPA/The Local/hc

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Lufthansa fires up ‘jumbo jet’ for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca

German airline Lufthansa said Friday it was taking "extraordinary measures" to meet surging bookings for the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, deploying a jumbo jet to ferry passengers from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa fires up 'jumbo jet' for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca
Tourists enjoy the first days of summer on the island of Mallorca. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Francisco Ubilla

The group said it had seen a jump in reservations from German sunseekers in recent weeks, as concerns about the pandemic ease thanks to falling infection numbers and vaccination progress across Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa said it would swap the 215-seat Airbus A321 that usually plies the Frankfurt-Mallorca route for its Boeing 747-8 “jumbo jet”.The 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies”, can carry 364 people and is the largest plane in Lufthansa’s fleet.

The super-large planes normally fly transatlantic routes but have been
mostly grounded since the pandemic upended air travel.

READ ALSO: ‘I really needed a break’: Pandemic-weary Germans find freedom on Mallorca

“Lufthansa is taking extraordinary measures in order to respond to a significant increase in booking demand for flights to Palma de Mallorca,” the airline said in a statement.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends over July and August, it added, Europe’s key summer travel season.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans and is sometimes affectionately referred to as Germany’s “17th state”.

Before the pandemic, around five million German tourists visited the island
each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists