German airline group Lufthansa said Monday it plans to hire more than 8,000 people in 2018, the latest step in a relentless push for growth at one of Europe’s largest carriers.
Taking into account workers leaving the company, a Lufthansa spokesman told AFP that the net effect of the hiring spree would be “several thousand” new jobs — an increase on the roughly 3,000 who started work last year.
More than half of the new employees will be flight attendants.
As well as its own blue-and-yellow liveried fleet, Lufthansa owns a slew of smaller airlines, including no-frills Eurowings, Swiss Air, Austrian and Brussels Airlines.
Some 2,500 of the new hires will go to Lufthansa proper, while 2,700 take up jobs at Eurowings.
The subsidiary has been the focus of Lufthansa’s expansion, as chief executive Carsten Spohr seeks to ward off the challenge from low-cost competitors like Ireland’s Ryanair or UK-based Easyjet.
In December, the group received the European Commission’s approval to buy up a large chunk of bankrupt competitor Air Berlin, including 33 leased planes and prized landing slots at busy German airports.
But it had to offer concessions to allay the top EU competition authority’s concerns, giving up plans to buy Air Berlin’s Austrian subsidiary Niki.