FRANKFURT May 13 Lufthansa, Europe's
largest airline by revenues, is planning to transfer some 1,500
ground staff at German airports into separate companies this
year as part of cost-cutting measures.
Germany-based Lufthansa is trying to improve its profits by
1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) in 2015, compared with 2011,
under its SCORE restructuring programme.
Measures range from expanding its low-cost unit Germanwings
and shortening plane turnaround times at airports, to cutting a
total of 3,500 back office jobs and even auctioning off business
A spokesman said on Tuesday that Lufthansa planned to
transfer employees working at check-in desks and ticket sales
counters in airports like Berlin, Hamburg, Duesseldorf into
The new separate companies would then have to compete with
third-party providers for Lufthansa contracts. That could help
Lufthansa to reduce its costs at medium-sized airports and thus
better fend off increasing competition from low-cost rivals such
as Ryanair and easyJet.
Lufthansa's ground services can cost it up to 5 euros per
passenger, compared with around 2 euros for low-cost rivals.
Union Verdi criticised the plans, saying a similar plan at
Lufthansa catering unit LSG Germany had resulted in lower pay
and worse conditions for staff.
The union said it would be calling meetings with Lufthansa
staff and would fight to stop the airline reducing pay or
Lufthansa's main hubs in Frankfurt and Munich are not
affected by the plans.
($1 = 0.7270 Euros)
(Reporting by Peter Maushagen; Writing by Victoria Bryan)