In the Corona crisis, Lufthansa is being stabilized with state funds. One of the conditions for the tax is the waiver of bonus payments. The billions have since been repaid and the company wants the bonuses. The federal government sees a need to speak.

The federal government has sharply criticized Lufthansa’s plans for manager bonuses: It sees the planned payments as a violation of the requirements of the state rescue package during the pandemic, said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit in Berlin. It is about “legal questions that are now to be clarified together”.

In the opinion of the federal government, there is also a violation of agreements if Lufthansa only pays out the bonuses that have now been decided from 2025, Hebestreit continued. Because even an “accumulation of bonus payments in connection with a later payment after the end of the stabilization measures” would “violate the agreements concerned”.

The Lufthansa supervisory board recently decided on bonus payments in the millions for board members for this year and last year – i.e. the crisis year 2021, when the airline was supported with billions from the state. The group argues that this is compatible with government bailout requirements because these bonuses will not be paid out until 2025 – after the bailout measures have expired.

Government spokesman Hebestreit said: “That is Lufthansa’s argument.” The federal government takes a different view “and we have to discuss that with each other now”.

The unions UFO for the flight attendants and Cockpit for the pilots also criticized the actions of the Lufthansa management. This does not seem to be “aware of the signal effect of this decision,” they criticized in a joint statement. If the Executive Board is to be rewarded for Lufthansa’s recent successes, the other employees should also get something.

The Frankfurt airline received state aid during the corona pandemic. In 2020, the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) granted Lufthansa a total of 5.7 billion euros as silent participations and acquired a 20 percent stake in Lufthansa for around 300 million euros. The stake has since been sold. In addition, Lufthansa fully repaid the silent participations of the WSF by November 2021.