Lufthansa CityLine is to cut 14 of its 22 Bombardier CRJ200s and 20% of its 2,500-strong workforce by 2010 as part of a plan to drive down its cost base.

CityLine is scaling back its CRJ200 fleet, claiming the aging 50-seat type is becoming increasingly uneconomical to operate. A Lufthansa spokesman says the carrier will remove 14 CRJ200s, a reduction of the overall CityLine fleet of 20%.

"Accordingly we will be scaling back the workforce by 20%. This will be achieved between now and 2010," he adds.

Lufthansa will strive to implement to job cuts through early retirements, natural attrition and transfers to other Lufthansa Group companies.

The cuts will be made across the CityLine workforce, including management, but the spokesman adds: "We will definitely try to avoid compulsory redundancies."

He declines to quantify the saving which will be achieved through the measures, adding that the process is still in its early stages.

After the changes CityLine will be left with eight CRJ200s. The spokesman says: "It is not a complete phase-out. Operating these aircraft is becoming increasingly uneconomical so, to ensure the economical operation of Lufthansa CityLine, we had to reduce the operation of these aircraft."

The spokesman is unable to comment immediately on the future of the CRJ200-operated routes or possible replacement plans for the aircraft.

CityLine operates a 72-aircraft fleet, which also includes 20 CRJ700s, 12 CRJ900s and 18 BAE Systems Avro RJ85s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news