Lufthansa Group is making another shift to its regional airline portfolio by transferring its Airbus A319s from Lufthansa mainline to Lufthansa CityLine, starting in 2019.

The move became possible after Lufthansa CityLine and pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) agreed on new labor conditions for their approximately 650 pilots, which is securing a new aircraft type at the regional carrier.

Lufthansa CityLine will start operating the first A319-100 from its Munich hub next spring; another five aircraft will follow by the end of 2020.

“Lufthansa CityLine has been handling an important part of our feeder traffic at the hubs in Munich and Frankfurt for many years,” said Wilken Bormann, chairman of the supervisory board of Lufthansa CityLine and CEO of Lufthansa’s Munich hub.

“Entering the A320 segment is a logical next step. With the new collective agreement, both negotiating partners have illustrated their will to jointly develop Lufthansa CityLine as a key component of the Lufthansa Group.”

The parties have agreed on an extensive package, which includes a moderate salary increase for the next three years and a growth-related increase for 2021. Essential points of the structure of the company pension plan will be adapted to the regulations for Lufthansa’s mainline staff.

Lufthansa CityLine transports 8 million passengers aboard its roughly 50 aircraft, to around 80 airports in over 24 countries with more than 300 daily flights. The carrier employs about 2,200 staff.

On Sept. 26, Lufthansa announced that its Italian subsidiary Air Dolomiti will receive nine Embraer E190s and five E195s from Lufthansa CityLine. Air Dolomiti operates a fleet of 12 E195s.

Over the past three year, CityLine has transferred 17 E195s to Austrian Airlines. The airline’s crews have operated several Airbus A340s on behalf of the parent company, but that deal is ending since a broader agreement with mainline pilots came in place.

Kurt Hofmann