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The Swiss unit of Lufthansa plans 1,000 job cuts in two years by way of attrition

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Kluehr, CEO of Swiss International Air Lines, stands in front of the airline's new Bombardier CS100 aircraft at Zurich Airport

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VIENNA (Reuters) – The Lufthansa (DE 🙂 unit Swiss International Air Lines plans to cut around 1,000 jobs over the next two years through voluntary measures and not through layoffs, said the outgoing CEO Thomas Kluehr in a statement published on Saturday.

The Swiss government has given the airline loan guarantees of more than 1 billion euros to help cope with the collapse of air travel due to the pandemic. Like many of its peers, it decided to downsize its staff and fleet.

"We are initially relying on three socially responsible measures: hiring freeze, part-time models with salary cuts and early retirement," Kluehr told the newspaper Schweiz at the weekend, adding that due to staff fluctuations in recent years, it should be possible to cut 1,000 jobs without layoffs .

Swiss and Edelweiss Air, a much smaller sister airline, employ 10,475 people / LH according to the Lufthansa Group's financial report for the second quarter https://investor-relations.lufthansagroup.com/fileadmin/downloads/en/financial-reports/interims-reports -QR-2020-2-e.pdf. Swiss has around 9,500 employees, said Switzerland on the weekend.

Kluehr, whose successor has not yet been announced, said the current aviation industry crisis should last three to five years. In terms of downsizing, a lot would depend on how quickly the market recovers, he added.

"If we expect Swiss business to shrink by 20% in the medium to long term – and we are currently expecting that – then the 1,000 jobs would be enough, yes," said Kluehr.

"If we see in the first quarter with a view to the summer that the situation does not improve, especially on long haul routes, the 1,000 jobs will not be enough."

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