Lufthansa shareholders to vote on German rescue package

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Lufthansa sought shareholders’ support at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday for a EUR9 billion rescue package that would see a government stabilisation fund take a 20 per cent stake.

The company, which also owns other airlines including Austrian Airlines and Swiss, appeared on course to get the deal approved after major shareholder Heinz-Hermann Thiele told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung he would vote for it.

Thiele previously raised questions over his approval, prompting the company last week to warn that the package could be in danger and to plead with shareholders to exercise their voting rights.

Hours before the meeting, Lufthansa and the UFO union, which represents cabin crew, said they had agreed on a deal that will allow the company to save more than EUR500 million through the end of 2023. UFO said it includes a four-year protection against layoffs for cabin crew.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s Executive Commission approved Germany’s plans to contribute EUR6 billion to recapitalising Lufthansa as part of the rescue package. It noted that Lufthansa committed to freeing up some slots at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs.

A Lufthansa aircraft approaches the airport in Frankfurt, Germany on Tuesday. PHOTO: AP