By Amechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Germany’s Lufthansa is seeking shareholders’ support at an extraordinary general meeting Thursday for a 9 billion-euro ($10.2 billion) rescue package that would see a government stabilization fund take a 20% stake.
The company, which also owns other airlines including Austrian Airlines and Swiss, appeared on course to get the deal approved after major shareholder Heinz-Hermann Thiele told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that he would vote for it.
Thiele had previously raised questions over his approval, prompting the company last week to warn that the package could be in danger and to plead with all shareholders to exercise their voting rights.
Hours before the meeting, Lufthansa and the UFO union, which represents cabin crew, said they had agreed on a deal that will allow the company to save more than 500 million euros ($554 million) through the end of 2023. UFO said it includes a four-year protection against layoffs for cabin crew.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s executive Commission approved Germany’s plans to contribute 6 billion euros to recapitalizing Lufthansa as part of the rescue package. It noted that Lufthansa has committed to freeing up some slots at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs.