Lufthansa has agreed short-time working arrangements with flight attendants and ground staff after suspending much of its operation amid the coronavirus crisis.

Deals struck with trade unions and the company’s works council cover “at least” 27,000 of a total 35,000 employees, Lufthansa says.

It adds that an agreement with pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit is pending.

For “some” employees, the short-time working arrangement is become retrospectively effective for the month of March, says Lufthansa, noting that the extent of the reduction in working hours will depend on the airline’s “loss of work” and “can be up to 100%”.

Lufthansa says it is, as part of the deal, “increasing the short-time working allowance up to 90% of the net salary… for the time being”.

But the carrier warns: “How long Deutsche Lufthansa AG can pay these top-up amounts depends largely on the duration of the crisis.”

Short-time working is being implemented across more than 30 Lufthansa Group companies, including Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines.

Lufthansa Group chief officer of corporate human resources and legal affairs Michael Niggemann states that the arrangements are intended to “secure jobs of our employees in these difficult and unusual times”.

He adds: “Our goal remains trying to avoid redundancies. The agreement of short-time work is an essential prerequisite for this.”

However, the airline “will have to constantly review the economic parameters”, says Niggemann.

The group’s supervisory board members have voluntarily waived 25% of their compensation, the executive board 20%, and managers not affected by short-time working 10-15% of their monthly basic compensation “in solidarity with all employee groups”.