Lukashenko plane maintenance takes place despite union protest

Alex Pereslavtsev

A Boeing 737 of the governmental fleet of Alexander Lukashenko, Belarussia’s controversial leader, landed at Hamburg Airport (HAM) to receive maintenance work from Lufthansa Technik. Despite initial reports that employees refused to carry out the work, the MRO company said maintenance went as planned.

Following the news that the presidential aircraft, registered as EW-001PA, would undergo maintenance in Lufthansa Technik facility of Hamburg, the German trade union Ver.di released a statement in which they expressed solidarity with the Belarusian protesters. “We, the activists of the Lufthansa Technik campaign, do not forget the long tradition of international solidarity and stand side by side with Belarusian workers,” the open letter said, quoted by the Belarusian web portal Onliner. 

They recall how faced with a similar situation, Lufthansa Technik workers had already put down their tools and refused to service another aircraft. “Almost 31 years ago we had a very similar situation. The head of Romania, Ceausescu, suppressed workers’ protests while we had to repair his plane,” the statement continues. The union expects that “the Lufthansa Technik administration will refrain from any sanctions if employees refuse to work with the relevant aircraft.”

However, it appears that this time, no strike was declared and work went as planned. “Service maintenance of all our customers’ aircraft in Hamburg is being carried out according to the schedule,” a Lufthansa Technik representative told the Deutsche Welle. The Boeing 737-800 BBJ2 which arrived in Hamburg on October 13, 2020, has not flown back to this day.

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