The federal government rejects plans by Lufthansa to pay bonuses to its board members despite billions in state aid during the pandemic. "The federal government expressly sees it differently," said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Wednesday. "In their understanding, the accumulation of bonus payments in connection with a later payment after the end of the stabilization measures that have taken place in the WSF would violate the agreements made." This will be discussed with Lufthansa. "Interesting legal questions" have to be clarified.
Aid paid back in full
The collapse of air traffic in the pandemic had plunged Lufthansa deep into the red in 2020 and 2021. In the summer of 2020, the state saved society from economic collapse. The Federal Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) supported Lufthansa with six billion euros. In the course of this, he joined the group directly with 20 percent. The state development bank KfW also contributed a loan of EUR 1 billion. Lufthansa has since repaid the aid in full. The federal government sold its stake with a profit of more than 700 million euros.
According to the "Handelsblatt", the supervisory board decided at the beginning of December to grant top management bonus payments for 2021 and 2022. A Lufthansa spokesman explained that internal discussions in the supervisory board are not commented on. "The remuneration for the Management Board, which is currently under public discussion, will be paid out at the earliest from 2025, depending on various factors." It's a long-term bonus. The Supervisory Board observes applicable law in all decisions regarding management remuneration.
Unions are demanding special payments for the workforce
Unions also demanded bonuses for the workforce. Daniel Kassa Mbuambi, chairman of the flight attendants' union Ufo, said on Wednesday that she had to accept severe cuts during the pandemic in order to do her part to save Lufthansa. As recognition, the board should make special payments for the employees. "The state has already created opportunities for this with a tax-free inflation premium of up to 3,000 euros, which the Lufthansa management can use."
Lufthansa is on the up again, said Stefan Herth, President of the VC pilots' union, with a view to the airline's increasing business. The recognition of achievements should not stop below the executive floor. "It is clear that this must also be reflected in the coming collective bargaining agreements."