Economy & Politics

Luxair sparks debate in the House

At the heart of the discussions of deputies on Wednesday, the difficult economic situation of the national airline because of the pandemic, as well as the appointment of Gilles Feith as new general manager.

At the heart of the discussions of deputies on Wednesday, the difficult economic situation of the national airline because of the pandemic, as well as the appointment of Gilles Feith as new general manager.

(ASdN with Marc Hoscheid) – The date of June 1 appears as a “little ray of hope”. It is in these terms that Serge Wilmes (CSV) spoke of the prospect of resumption of scheduled civil aviation flights during a current affairs debate in the House on Wednesday. Because for the deputy, Luxair and more generally the entire aeronautical industry are of systemic importance for the Grand Duchy.

But despite an imminent recovery, the economic environment could remain difficult in the future according to the member. On the one hand, because companies are more likely to use videoconferencing and, on the other hand, because only a limited number of seats will be occupied by passengers for health reasons. Before the deputies, Serge Wilmes also spoke of the different development of the two national airlines Luxair and Cargolux during the crisis.


The current Defense General Coordinator will head the national airline on June 1 and succeed Adrien Ney after 15 years of loyal service.


Because while the number of Luxair passengers has greatly decreased, Cargolux still has well-filled order books. Following this observation, the deputy addressed the Minister of Transport François Bausch (Déi Gréng) to find out why no call for tenders had taken place after the departure of Adrien Ney as Director General, and replaced by Gilles Feith.

A nomination of a high official judged too fast by Serge Wilmes, and which had all except “effects of confidence building”. But the minister defended this choice, recalling that it was a “unanimous decision” of the board of directors and not of the shareholders. He is also delighted with the appointment of a Luxembourger to this position.

A choice also validated by David Wagner (Déi Lénk) who said he was reassured, claiming to prefer a senior civil servant to a private sector manager for the post of CEO of Luxair. Because if the state already has interests in companies, it should also have an influence on strategic decisions.

Short-haul flights review

Luxair and the national airport are indeed of particular importance for the country. Findel’s activity represents almost five percent of gross domestic product (GDP) according to Max Hahn (DP). In 2019, this is equivalent to three billion euros. Indirectly, 24,000 jobs are also linked to the airport.

Conversely, Carlo Back (Déi Gréng) wishes to curb this flight, calling for a reduction in short-haul flights. For the deputy of the ecological party, it is necessary to replace them as much as possible by train journeys, for example by the TGV from Luxembourg to Paris. The rail network, he says, should be further developed for this purpose. He also criticized the tax advantages of kerosene.

Sustainably revitalize aviation

Marc Goergen (Piraten) however called for respect for clients’ free will. For the Pirate party deputy, it is essential to give them the choice of being reimbursed or of being issued a coupon for another flight. The hackers also suggested the creation of an aid fund for travel agencies and airlines.

And if the Minister François Bausch criticized “the behavior of the airlines which did not help to restore confidence”, thus referring to the refusal of certain companies to reimburse their passengers, he nevertheless spoke of the prospect and need for sustainable aviation restructuring.


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