• Lufthansa Group has reached a deal with its pilot's union, providing stability for the airline and improving pilots' remuneration and work-life balance.
  • The agreements include pay raises of 18% for pilots throughout the agreement and a one-off payment of up to €3,000 in 2023.
  • Pilots will also receive more plannable leisure time, roster stability, and the assimilation of former Germanwings into Lufthansa will lead to further growth.

The Cologne, Germany-based airline group Lufthansa Group has recently reached a deal with its pilot's union. The deal between the Vereinigung Cockpit union, representing 5,200 personnel of Lufthansa Airlines and Lufthansa Cargo, was struck on August 11th and will rival other recent deals between airlines and their associate pilot unions.

The news comes after almost a year of negotiations, as the union said conversations about a new contract began in September 2022. The terms of the contract will increase the wages of more than 5,000 pilots and set new work rules. Since 2021, Lufthansa has worked to grow its fleet and expand its route network.

Stability for Lufthansa Group

The pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit union, voted in favor of the new deal, composed of two agreements: the collective terms-of-employment agreement (MTV) and the new collective remuneration agreement (VTV). The agreements will last until December 31st, 2027, and December 31st, 2026, respectively. Both agreements include a clause that would bar pilots from striking until the respective agreements expire.

Lufthansa Airbus A320neo Lovehansa Livery
Photo: Kevin Hackert/Shutterstock

The new agreement provides Lufthansa with additional stability in its operation, as the airline's operation was plunged into chaos multiple times last year. The first was when ground handling took strike action early last summer. More recently, in September 2022, the airline found itself up against a strike by the pilots, leading to mayhem at the end of the German summer holidays. After the strike disruption in September, the airline brokered a short-term labor deal with the pilot union.

Michael Niggemann, Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member, and Labor Director, said,

"This collective agreement with Vereinigung Cockpit will provide additional stability in our operations and thus also more reliability for our customers. With it, we are improving not only our pilots' remuneration but also their ability to maintain an effective balance between their profession and their private lives. This new agreement is not easy for us to conclude from an economic perspective."

According to Vereinigung Cockpit union President Stefan Herth, 94.7% of the union's members voted on the agreements, with 65.% voting in favor of MTV and VTV. Herth added that he was "pleased" that the union's members voted in favor of the agreement.

Contact details

Lufthansa and the Vereinigung Cockpit Union have reached an agreement on pay increases for flight deck staff. Among the improvements, Lufthansa Airlines and Lufthansa Cargo pilots will see pay raises of 18% throughout the agreement, with a 7% raise on December 1st, 2023, 5% on January 1st, 2025, and 5% on January 1st, 2026.

Lufthansa Eurowings aircraft Dusseldorf Airport
Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Moreover, Lufthansa will provide union members a one-off payment of 3.75% of fixed annual compensation. This will be up to 3,000 euros ($3,297) in 2023. This will be coupled with improved variable compensation aligned with business success. Pilots will also receive more plannable leisure time and roster stability, including ten free days a month. Lastly, there will be further growth by the assimilation of former Germanwings into Lufthansa.