1,200 jobs to go at slashed Lufthansa subsidiary

Coronavirus-stricken carriers Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines will close the German branch of their SunExpress joint venture, placing 1,200 jobs under threat, the company said Tuesday.

1,200 jobs to go at slashed Lufthansa subsidiary
A SunExpress plane in Stuttgart in July 2017. Photo: DPA

“Flight operations by SunExpress Germany, a subsidiary of Turkish SunExpress, will be ended shortly and an orderly liquidation process begun,” a SunExpress spokesman said in a statement.

Almost 1,200 employees at the 20-aircraft carrier will be affected, the spokesman added, saying SunExpress “will take on responsibility by working through possible solutions in the coming weeks with workers and social partners”.

Meanwhile the aircraft will be shared out among Lufthansa's other subsidiaries and Turkish Airlines.

Bosses and German ministers are waiting on tenterhooks to see whether Lufthansa investors will approve Thursday a nine-billion-euro bailout package that would see Berlin take a 20-percent stake in the airline.

Months of flight operations cut back to levels not seen in decades because of coronavirus lockdowns have bled the company's cash reserves dry, prompting it to turn to the German government.

But the giant group's newly-arrived top shareholder Heinz-Hermann Thiele, a railway tycoon, has cast doubt on whether he will support the state rescue.

READ ALSO: How Germany's Lufthansa is lifting off again as lockdowns ease

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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