Lufthansa will axe thousands of jobs to cut costs | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.05.2012
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Lufthansa will axe thousands of jobs to cut costs

Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa is planning to shed over 3,000 jobs in a bid to get on top of spiraling administrative costs. The airline wants to move into positive territory again after recent losses.

German airline Lufthansa will lay off 3,500 employees worldwide in the next couple of years, management announced on Thursday. The measure will mainly affect jobs in the administrative sector.

Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz said the move would be part of the company's strategic restructuring and cost-cutting scheme called "Score". "Only if we restructure our current administrative setup and accept a reduction in staff will we be able to safeguard other jobs and create new ones in the long term," Franz said in a statement on Thursday.

The airline announced that cuts in staff costs would amount to about one third of the savings envisaged under the general cost-cutting scheme. Lufthansa, that way, aims to improve its operating result by 1.5 billion euros ($1.97 billion) over the next few years.

Mixed picture

Germany's top airline suffered a net loss of 397 million euros in the first quarter of the current year. Lufthansa's operating loss of 381 million euros was about twice as much as in 2011.

First-quarter sales, however, reached 6.6 billion euros - 5.5 percent higher in a year-on-year comparison. But this could not offset the soaring price of jet fuel.

The group said it transported a total of 21.9 million passengers in the first three months of 2012, a 4.8-percent increase year-on-year. All of its carriers - Lufthansa itself, low-cost Germanwings as well as Swiss and Austrian Airlines – contributed to growth.

hg/gb (AFP, Reuters)