The Frankfurt airport operator has reported that it would send at least 18,000 of its 22,000 workers into a short-time work scheme, slashing their hours as it slows its operations down to a bare minimum.
This, it said, would depend on the job, as international travel restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic take their toll on the aviation industry.
Fraport said it would continue to pay 60 per cent of net wages, or 67 per cent for workers with children, meaning that, together with help from the state, employees will still receive 75-95 per cent of their net pay packet.
Short-time work is a government scheme last seen in Germany in response to the 2007/08 financial crisis, which has been revived as coronavirus wreaks havoc with world economies.
Fraport’s application for state aid under the scheme to keep workers paid initially covers a period stretching until the end of May.
Operations at Frankfurt Airport have shrunk drastically in recent weeks. However, its North-West landing strip was blocked off to allow space for Lufthansa’s parked planes, which no longer have destinations to fly to.
While both terminals are to remain open, only a few shops will be open for the few passengers travelling through the airport, offering the bare essentials.
Construction of a third terminal in the South is not impacted by the switch to short-time work.