German carrier Lufthansa has laid off 103 cabin crew members in India. The carrier had around 140 cabin crew members in India. Some of the affected employees gathered at Delhi Airport’s Aerocity on Friday for a protest.
The layoffs come a year after flights to and from India were restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lufthansa had 56 weekly flights between Frankfurt and Munich and four Indian metros before COVID-19 pandemic, which has now come down to 10.
Lufthansa Says No Service Extension
An airline spokesperson said that the airline will not be extending the fixed-term employment of its Delhi-based flight attendants. “The severe financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic leaves us no choice but to restructure the airline. This includes personnel-related measures in Germany and Europe as well as in key international markets like India,” the spokesperson said.
The airline said it exhausted every possible option and had even reached an agreement with the Indian union. It said that the compulsory redundancies for the cabin staff could have been avoided. The airline said that it had signed an agreement with the Indian union to provide two years of unpaid leave but continuing to provide local health insurance even for family members.
The German carrier said that it was also willing to absorb all associated premiums during the period but the union revoked its consent to the agreement on December 31. “Indian cabin crew with unlimited contracts are not affected as Lufthansa was able to reach individual agreements with these flight attendants. Not being able to reach an agreement for cabin crew with fixed-term employment contracts forces us to take this step as part of an inevitable restructuring of Lufthansa Group,” said the spokesperson as mentioned in a report in Times of India.