Lufthansa could cut more planes and jobs than planned: sources

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FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) – German airline Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> could cut its fleet by 130 planes in response to the coronavirus crisis, two people familiar with the matter said.

Such a cut would mean a reduction of at least 30 planes more than the recently bailed-out airline had planned previously.

Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr informed staff on Monday that the airline’s management would make a decision about the move in the coming week, the people told Reuters.

The number of workers at Lufthansa, which stood at around 140,000 before the coronavirus crisis hit the airline sector, is likely to have to be reduced by a fifth, the sources said.

This would equate to 28,000 positions, slightly more than the 26,000 under previous plans to weather the crisis.

A Lufthansa spokesman declined to comment, saying there had been no decision on the matter.

Lufthansa, which in June received a 9 billion euro ($10.7 billion) government bailout, said last month it expected capacity to recover to only around 50% of normal by the end of 2020 and to two thirds of last year’s level in 2021.

($1 = 0.8440 euros)

(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach and Klaus Lauer; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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