The national team traditionally flies with Lufthansa - but not at the EM
Photo: imago sportfotodienst / ActionPictures / imago
The "winning pilot" stays on the ground.
After the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the repainted Boeing 747 provided iconic images as it did a lap of honor over Berlin with the world champions on board.
There will be no such event this year, no matter how successful Jogi Löw's team is.
That has to do with the billions in aid from taxpayers for Lufthansa, but also with the stingy German Football Association.
The team did travel to Nuremberg with the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings, from where it went to the base camp in Herzogenaurach.
For all other flights, however, "the DFB has opted for a charter offer outside the Lufthansa Group," said a group spokeswoman.
"We wish the team all the best for the tournament."
In the past, the DFB did not have to pay anything for the flights.
Lufthansa took over the costs as part of a sponsorship and was rewarded with effective advertising photos in the newspapers.
Since the billion-dollar rescue by the federal government in the corona crisis, the crane group has had to save to repay the high-interest loans. Flying soccer players through half of Europe for free is no longer an option, while massive job cuts are being made. »Due to the crisis, Lufthansa implemented numerous cost-cutting measures and thus reduced or suspended its marketing and advertising measures for the time being. This applies in particular to sponsorship contracts and sports cooperations, "said the spokeswoman.
The German team travels to Munich for each of the three preliminary round matches, so the team bus from sponsor Volkswagen is sufficient.
But in the knockout round it may go to London, Bucharest, Seville or Budapest.
Trips to Rome, Baku or Saint Petersburg could follow.
The semi-finals and finals will be held in London.
According to SPIEGEL information, the DFB has secured the services of the charter company Klasjet from Lithuania for flights that become necessary in the event of success.
The presents itself on its website as particularly luxurious.
In the competition, however, it scores above all with low wages that go beyond any collective bargaining agreement, as is common in Germany, criticize the unions.
Lufthansa, Condor and other German airlines currently do not lack the capacity to include some charter flights for the national team in their program - for a fee.
The Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss continues to fly the Swiss national team.
In addition, after the slump in air traffic during the pandemic, there are still many machines in permanent parking spaces, and tens of thousands of employees are on short-time work.
"Instead of relying on social dumping, the DFB, which is not exactly starving to death, could have made a small contribution to getting people out of short-time work," a spokesman for the Ver.di union told SPIEGEL.
"We have enough airlines in Germany that specialize in transporting teams, so you really don't have to go to Lithuania."
Small German Airways, for example, often flies teams from Bundesliga clubs such as Union Berlin or Eintracht Frankfurt to their destination - at competitive costs.
Avantiair from Paderborn is also involved in the sports business.
There was also trouble with short-haul flights
The criticism of the international transport union ETF of the business model of the Eastern European charter line is even harsher.
"She is exploiting the European internal market and her employees by paying her cabin crew between 540 and 1300 euros per month," it says in an open letter.
The addressee is the Belgian Football Association, because the »Red Devils« also rely on the services of the cheap home.
Players should refuse to fly with the charter company, the union said.
»Social dumping is a plague in aviation and, through business relationships with companies that benefit from it, football teams in Europe are complicit. We call on the players to fight against these practices, ”said ETF General Secretary Livia Spera. The DFB did not respond to several written and telephone inquiries from SPIEGEL on Friday. A spokeswoman for Klasjet's parent company did not want to comment either.
It's not the first time that the national team has been in trouble with their travel habits.
Last year, the DFB entourage flew the 260-kilometer route from Stuttgart to Basel instead of taking the bus or train.
Climate activists criticized the trip.
"We are taking this as an opportunity to question how we can take the environment and sustainability into account more in our planning in the future," said the DFB at the time.
However, if the charter flights become necessary once the team has progressed accordingly, it is even possible that an aircraft initially flies empty to Germany - and that several times.