Friday, 27 January, 2023

Berlin opposes Lufthansa bosses' bonuses

Berlin opposes Lufthansa bosses' bonuses

FRANKFURT: The German government said Wednesday it opposed reported multi-million-euro bonuses for executive board members of airline giant Lufthansa, which received huge state support to survive the pandemic.

When the coronavirus closed borders in 2020, Berlin took a 20-percent stake in Lufthansa under a nine-billion-euro ($9.5-billion) deal to save it from bankruptcy, reports AFP.

Lufthansa has bounced back strongly as air travel recovers, and in September the government sold off its remaining stake, putting the group back in private hands.

But on Tuesday, financial daily Handelsblatt reported that six board members are set to receive bonuses of millions of euros for 2021 and 2022, at a time the airline was receiving state aid.

The supervisory board approved the bonuses during a meeting at the start of December, it said, citing sources close to the company. It did not report the exact amount of the bonuses.

Asked about the payouts, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said the government believed they would "violate the agreements" for the aid package.

"Now we have to discuss these different legal positions with Lufthansa, and then we will have to see what the outcome is," he told a regular press briefing.

A company spokesman previously told AFP that payments to the board were under discussion, and would only be handed out in 2025 at the earliest.