Pilots at Lufthansa’s Austrian offer to take 43% pay cut until 2023

Michelle K. Wallace

FILE PHOTO: Planes of German carrier Lufthansa are parked on a closed runway at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, March 23, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

VIENNA (Reuters) – Pilots at Austrian Airlines (AUA) (LHAG.DE) are prepared to accept an up to 43% cut of their salaries until 2023 to help reduce costs, an offer comparable to that of their colleagues at parent Lufthansa, the AUA works council said.

Together with flight attendants, AUA’s 3,900 on-board staff are offering a savings contribution of more than 200 million euros ($216 million) in total, it said.

Lufthansa is negotiating a 9 billion euro bailout with Germany’s government and the governments in Austria and Belgium, where it also operates carriers.

Airlines are grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and expect a protracted travel slump in its wake.

AUA has applied for 767 million euros in state aid.

In Switzerland, parliament has already backed a 1.275 billion Swiss franc ($1.31 billion) package in loan guarantees for Lufthansa units Swiss and Edelweiss.

AUA employs 7,000 staff in Austria, and all of them currently work reduced hours.

Some 150-200 AUA pilots will leave the carrier by 2022 due to expiring contracts, and negotiations about part-time work and temporary leaves are ongoing, said Rainer Stratberger, a member of the works council.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Jason Neely

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