Pilot Union Rejects Eurowings Offer On Air Berlin

November 6, 2017

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A union representing pilots at Eurowings has rejected a collective bargaining agreement with the Lufthansa low cost subsidiary.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union has been negotiating with Eurowings over pilots the airline wants to employ from insolvent Air Berlin, but on Monday rejected a Eurowings’ offer saying the airline should “acknowledge their social responsibility as beneficiaries of Air Berlin’s bankruptcy and offer its employees acceptable terms and conditions.”

“This collective agreement would not have created binding prospects either for the pilots of Air Berlin affected by the insolvency or for the staff of Eurowings,” the union’s Jörg Handwerg said.

Lufthansa and easyJet have agreed takeover terms with Air Berlin’s administrators, subject to regulatory approval.

Lufthansa agreed in October to acquire parts of Air Berlin in a EUR€210 million (USD$248 million) deal. The agreement includes Austrian leisure airline Niki and German regional carrier LG Walter, plus a number of Air Berlin aircraft which it plans to transfer to Eurowings.

easyJet and the the Ver.di union concluded a pay and conditions agreement last week on the UK airline’s plans to employ around 1,000 ex-Air Berlin pilots and cabin crew based at Berlin’s Tegel Airport. As part of the EUR€40 million (USD$46.5 million) acquisition, easyJet will lease up to 25 Airbus A320 aircraft and assume Air Berlin’s Tegel landing slots.