Europe

Lufthansa’s Eurowings agrees new pay deal with pilots

Eurowings A320
Tis Meyer/PlanePics.org

New wage agreements apply for the approximately 300 pilots at Eurowings GmbH as of 1 January 2015.

At the beginning of the year, the airline reached agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union on new settlements that are to run for five years. They govern such matters as developments in working conditions and “grandfathering clauses” for the duration of the agreements. The collective bargaining partners agreed on a wage increase of 2.5 per cent for the year 2015 and at least two per cent for subsequent years, depending on the rate of inflation. Signing the wage agreements means that the forthcoming renewal of the Eurowings fleet with Airbus A320 aircraft, and thereby the safeguarding of Eurowings and its future prospects, is being aided and supported in terms of collective bargaining, too.

Sustainable settlements with various pilotsʼ unions have already been reached for other flight operations in the Lufthansa Group.

Shortly before Christmas, the management of Swiss International Air Lines and the board of the Aeropers pilotsʼ association agreed on the basis for a new overall wage agreement. In particular, agreements on productivity improvements and an increase in the retirement age to 60 have been reached. The compromise that was reached also includes greater protection against dismissals, as well as foundations for a new career model and for an involvement of both pilot corps in the introduction of the new Bombardier CSeries and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The details of the contract will be hammered out over the coming weeks. Should it be adopted, the agreement shall be valid from 1 April 2015 and will replace the existing overall wage agreement. A renegotiated overall wage agreement was signed with the IPG pilots’ association back at the end of May 2014.

At Austrian Airlines, an important agreement with the airborne staff was also reached back in October 2014. The new collective Group agreement applies to roughly 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants. Since 1 December 2014, it has governed the future salaries and pensions, working hours and career development for cockpit and cabin crew. A key element of the new agreement is the option for pilots and flight attendants to move to Austrian Airlines from the wholly owned Tyrolean Airways subsidiary. With this agreement, the airborne staff have made an important contribution to safeguarding the future of Austrian Airlines.

Lufthansa CityLine also reached an agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the end of 2014. The agreement lays the foundation for the deployment of the Airbus  A340-300 aircraft on long haul services at the regional carrier of the Lufthansa airline group.

These recent wage settlements mean that the Lufthansa Group and almost all its pilots now have agreements that reflect changes in the industry and that introduce sustainable wage conditions. Still outstanding, however, are wage agreements at Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings. In December 2014, Lufthansa offered further talks on unresolved topics, along with a concrete plan for arbitration.

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