Lufthansa Hires Temporary Staff as Cabin Crew for New Aircraft

Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s second-largest airline, will hire cabin crew on part-time, temporary contracts to help staff new, larger planes intended to boost ticket sales.

Lufthansa plans to hire 500 employees in 2014 on contracts that expire after two years, with a one-time option to extend them by the same timespan, the Cologne, Germany-based company said in a statement today. The offer is designed to attract students and young people willing to work full-time for six months a year, while pay and social benefits are paid over a full 12 months, according to the statement.

“This is an entirely new model to help us cover peaks in demand for personnel,” Lufthansa spokesman Michael Lamberty said by phone. The agreement caps the use of temporary staff at 15 percent of total cabin crew, of which Lufthansa employs about 19,000, he said.

The move comes as Lufthansa takes delivery of more Boeing Co.’s 747-8 jumbo jets, the Chicago-based plane manufacturer’s largest model, and is switching to a longer version of the Airbus SAS A340. Lufthansa has capped the number of planes in use under an efficiency push intended to boost operating profit to 2.3 billion euros ($3 billion) by 2015. The company plans to sell more tickets by using bigger planes on popular routes, and will also cut 3,500 jobs in administration.

The new contracts are being offered after a wage agreement with Lufthansa’s biggest cabin-crew union Unabhaengige Flugbegleiter Organisation, Lamberty said. The company agreed a new contract with the union in November that included a 4.6 percent pay rise for this year as well as allowing for different compensation models for new employees.

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