Germany’s Lufthansa pledges 600 new jobs after summer of delays

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By Eckart Gienke, dpa

German airline Lufthansa pledged to create an additional 600 jobs to help improve the quality of its services on Friday, after a summer that saw high levels of delays and cancellations.

High-ranking politicians and aviation business figures met in the northern city of Hamburg on Friday to discuss problems facing the industry.

These include ageing infrastructure, the bankruptcy of airlines such as Air Berlin and most recently Primera Air, and strikes in a number of European countries. An increase in storms is also causing problems for the industry.

Lufthansa head Carsten Spohr said the company would make additional crew members and planes available at major German airports.

Passengers at German airports were plagued by a surge in the number of delays and cancellations this summer, leading Lufthansa alone to pay out some 250 million euros (288 million dollars) in compensation.

Lufthansa said it would be prepared to invest the same amount it had spent on compensation this summer.

Another of the measures proposed on Friday was training more air traffic controllers.

“I am very happy that we have taken an important step together,” Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said after the gathering.

A further meeting to deal with the topic is to take place before the next summer holiday season, Scheuer added.

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