Lufthansa’s newest subsidiary City Airlines has been granted its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) by Germany’s aviation authority.
According to German civil aviation authority Luftfahrt-Bundesamt’s (LBA) list of approved carriers, City Airlines has received AOC number D-425. The certificate will allow the carrier to operate aircraft heavier than 10 tons.
The list was updated on June 7, 2023. The development was first reported by Germany’s aeroTELEGRAPH.
Meanwhile, according to ch-aviation.com, City Airlines will receive an Airbus A319, registered as D-AILX, from Lufthansa. The aircraft, previously operated by Lufthansa CityLine, another regional subsidiary, is currently under maintenance.
“Founded in Munich in the summer of 2022, we want to offer our guests on short- and medium-haul routes an exceptional flight experience in proven Lufthansa quality,” City Airlines notes on its website, which currently only includes basic information about the airline.
“As a new airline in the Lufthansa Group, we combine the quality of Lufthansa and the experience of Lufthansa CityLine with the dynamism of a new young company,” the website continued.
According to Lufthansa’s 2022 financial report City Airlines was established on April 6, 2022, and the German airline is a 100% shareholder in the carrier. No further details were shared in the yearly report.
German pilot union Veenigung Cockpit (VC) has been highly critical of the news that Lufthansa is establishing another airline.
“We can’t see any realignment of the overall strategy at the moment. Time and again, only partial solutions based on the old model are being sought. As a VC, we recognize a need for consolidation and the need for a holistic realignment of the Lufthansa Group,” Stefan Herth, the president of VC, said in a statement in March 2022.
Previous statements issued by Carsten Spohr, chief executive officer (CEO) of Lufthansa, noted that the new airline would employ former Germanwings pilots, which ceased operations in 2020. Furthermore, it was noted that City Airlines would cover the larger scope of Lufthansa’s short-haul needs, as an agreement between VC and Lufthansa resulted in a limit on the type of aircraft CityLine would be able to operate from 2026. The newly established airline would also provide a cost advantage at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) and Munich Airport (MUC), two of Lufthansa’s hubs.
“Against the background of a lack of cockpit staff at group airlines and an increasing number of wet leases, dismissing several hundred experienced and highly qualified pilots is completely unsound,” said Arne von Schneidemesser, vice president of VC, when Lufthansa dismissed Germanwings pilots in May 2022.
Currently, VC and the airline are in the process of negotiating a new agreement, which, according to the union, includes “regulations on stress protection, a better work-life balance and a new remuneration structure for cockpit staff and remuneration increases”.
However, in a statement issued on June 1, 2023, VC claimed that Lufthansa “has not submitted a corresponding counter-offer that comprehensively addresses these demands for several weeks”.