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German Flag Carrier Lufthansa is Offering Flight Attendants Big Bonuses to Work On Their Days Off to Fend Off a Summer Meltdown

German Flag Carrier Lufthansa is Offering Flight Attendants Big Bonuses to Work On Their Days Off to Fend Off a Summer Meltdown

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German flag carrier Lufthansa is offering its flight attendants a bonus of €200 every time they volunteer to work on their days off in an attempt to avoid a summer meltdown because the airline is struggling to staff its ambitious schedule.

Lufthansa allegedly dismissed a plan to hire temporary cabin crew just for the summer season (a group of workers who the airline has relied on in the past) but the airline then realised it didn’t have another aircrew to keep up with soaring travel demand.

With no time left to hire additional crew, the Munich and Frankfurt dual-based carrier is now relying on financial incentives to get flight attendants to work on their days off, give up scheduled rest days and postpone their holidays until the summer rush is over.

The UFO crew union said it wasn’t surprised when Lufthansa approached it to negotiate voluntary measures to save the summer. In a memo, the union warned that the hardship being felt by its members continued to be “palpable” despite the fact that the scenes of chaos from last summer haven’t been repeated in 2023.

Along with the €200 rest day working bonus, flight attendants can also earn an extra €250 for every day they volunteer to work, which pushes them below the minimum number of guaranteed days off per month.

Lufthansa has also agreed to pay €100 to every crew member assigned to a flight when a service departs below the agreed minimum – oftentimes, especially on long-haul flights, airlines normally crew aircraft with more flight attendants than regulators require.

A further €100 will be paid to flight attendants who have to take on a purser role on long-haul flights because Lufthansa doesn’t currently have enough trained pursers for its schedule.

Last week, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr admitted that it was down to the hard work of the airline’s employees that it had reported massive post-pandemic profits.

“Thanks to the great efforts of our employees, we were able to avoid a situation like last summer and once again offer our customers a more stable operation,” Spohr commented as the airline reported second-quarter revenues of 9.4 billion Euros.

“Whether on the ground, in the cockpit, in the cabin or in our maintenance hangars, it was our employees worldwide who made reliable flight operations and the financially best second quarter in our history possible,” Spohr continued.

Lufthansa says it hasn’t yet seen any slowdown in travel demand and ticket sales between August and December are more than 90% higher than before the pandemic.

Capacity remains below 2019 levels, but the airline hopes to have reached 88% of pre-pandemic capacity in the next few months.

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