Hours after Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) agreed a bailout package worth EUR9 billion euros (USD9.8 billion) with the German government, its subsidiary Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf Int'l) announced it would cut a third of the jobs at its Düsseldorf Int'l headquarters.

The low-cost carrier's decision is seen as part of broader efforts to return the German airline group to profitability, Reuters reported.

“We have around 1,000 staff at head office, and of these we will reduce 300,” Eurowings' chief executive, Jens Bischof, said during a Düsseldorf Economic Journalists' Association online event on the evening of May 25.

He refrained from giving figures for any job cuts planned at other Eurowings subsidiaries, which employs a total of around 4,000 people. The outcome will depend, he explained, on talks with staff representatives and how operations and activities are allocated in future between Eurowings and its parent.

It will probably take until 2023 before capacity returns to pre-coronavirus levels, he added.

In an effort to slash costs by 30%, Eurowings expects to have “just over 90 aircraft in the air” in 2021 instead of a projected 139, Bischof said, according to the German news agency dpa.

It currently has an all-owned fleet of 91 aircraft, namely twenty-eight A319-100s, fifty-one A320-200s, five A321-200s, and seven A330-200s, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module.

The chief executive did not rule out the possibility of a ticketing price war after the crisis. It is “to be expected that there will be very price-aggressive offers,” he said. But Eurowings will be able to react to this until consolidation in the market “creates a better balance between supply and demand.”

The Eurowings boss assured that all customers who have refused vouchers or rebookings will be reimbursed for the money they had paid for flights not taken. For Eurowings, this is a three-digit million amount if all customers demand their money back, he said. “But if the customer wants it, we are of course ready to refund.” Due to the sheer number of claims, it will take time but will be achieved, making a wave of lawsuits against the carrier unlikely, he said.