LUFTHANSA PLANS TO move all overhaul work on its Boeing 737s from Lufthansa Technik at Berlin-Schonefeld Airport to Shannon Aerospace (SAL) in Ireland, threatening jobs at the German site.

The airline says that the move was agreed as part of the recently announced bail out plan, for the Irish Maintenance Company. It will shift responsibility for heavy maintenance of Lufthansa's 100 or so 737-300, -400 and -500 series aircraft abroad from 1997. Maintenance costs at the Irish site are "distinctly lower" than in Germany, according to the airline.

Lufthansa's stake in SAL is to be increased from 35% to 50% under the Government-backed bail-out plan, now facing investigation by the European Commission after complaints by UK aircraft-maintenance interests (Flight International, 31 May-6 June).

The work shift could cost as many as 150 jobs at Schonefeld, which employs 380 staff, although Lufthansa says that it hopes to avoid this by transferring additional line-maintenance work from other German locations.

Source: Flight International