Lufthansa: 2016 staff recruitment plans indicate strategic intentions. Eurowings and SWISS to grow

Lufthansa made a big announcement recently concerning the group's hiring plans for 2016. The statement said that the Lufthansa Group will recruit more than 4,000 new employees in 2016, "giving the organisation a top position among the leading German companies". It is relatively unusual for the Group to issue a press release of this nature about its hiring plans and, for this reason, it deserves some attention.

Scratching beneath the surface, the statement reveals much about the Lufthansa Group's planned strategic development in 2016 and beyond. This year will experience a significant step up in its capacity growth, but this growth will not be shared equally by all of the Group's airlines. LCC subsidiary Eurowings is the preferred growth vehicle, and SWISS is also in favour. Frankfurt's dominance may be eroded somewhat in favour of Munich.

Moreover, Lufthansa makes it clear that new cabin crew will be recruited on contracts with a significant part time element. This, together with the development of Eurowings, signals management's determination to drag the Lufthansa Group into an era of greater labour flexibility and cost efficiency.

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