Lufthansa plans to hire 10,000 staff as it battles rising demand, having cancelled 7,000 flights during summer travel chaos

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A Lufthansa airplane at Frankfurt Airport, the group's main travel hub. Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images © Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images A Lufthansa airplane at Frankfurt Airport, the group’s main travel hub. Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

  • Lufthansa wants to hire 10,000 workers by 2023, after having to cancel around 7,000 flights. 
  • CEO Carsten Spohr said staff shortages had caused operational difficulties for the German carrier.
  • The hires will be in operations in flight crew and ground personnel, Spohr said. 
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Lufthansa Group plans to hire 10,000 employees by 2023 in response to the staff-shortage driven summer travel chaos that saw the airline cancel thousands of flights

In a presentation to investors announcing the group’s second quarter earnings CEO Carsten Spohr said that Lufthansa plans to hire 5,000 new employees in the second half of 2022, and a similar number in 2023. 

Lufthansa has canceled 7,000 flights this year, per Bloomberg. On 26 July, Lufthansa canceled 678 flights at Frankfurt airport, and 345 at Munich in a single day after ground crew went on strike over pay and working conditions.  

Industry wide staff shortages, partly caused by increased sickness rates, have caused operational difficulties, Spohr said.  

Like many in the sector, Lufthansa has struggled to cope with a resurgent demand for travel, following the mass layoffs and grounding of flights during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Airports have limited daily passenger numbers, while airlines have trimmed flight schedules to try and minimize the impact on passengers after airports witnessed long queues and mountains of baggage caused by the delays. 

The ramp up of travel demand from around 20% of pre-COVID levels to 80% in just a few weeks had been “too steep,” Spohr conceded in the presentation.  

The vast majority of the new hires will be in operations Spohr said, in cockpit and cabin crew, as well as ground personnel at the group’s five airport hubs. 

The group is also deploying employees from other airports to its hub in Frankfurt where the “operational problems remain the greatest,” Spohr said. 

Aside from its namesake airline, The Lufthansa Group owns SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and low-cost carrier German Wings. 

Despite the challenges, which have been exacerbated by the Ukraine war and increases in fuel, the group raised its earnings outlook for the quarter, anticipating earnings before interest and tax of 393 million euros ($400 million) during Q2.

It had previously anticipated between 300 million ($305 million) and 350 million euros ($356 million), per Bloomberg

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