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Lufthansa shares soar after major shareholder backs bailout plan

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An employee of German airline Lufthansa. Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

An employee of German airline Lufthansa. Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

REUTERS

An employee of German airline Lufthansa. Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Lufthansa shares jumped more than 27pc in early trade on Thursday after billionaire investor Heinz Hermann Thiele endorsed a €9bn government bailout to rescue the carrier hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I will vote for the proposal," Thiele, who owns a 15.5pc stake in Lufthansa, told Frankfurter Allgemeine daily on Wednesday.

His endorsement amounted to a respite for the airline after fears had swirled that he might veto the proposed package, which would see Germany buy 20pc of the company.

Shareholders are due to vote on the bailout at Lufthansa's virtual extraordinary general meeting on Thursday.

The company struck a cost savings deal overnight with a union representing German flight attendants that would reap more than €500m in savings.

Reuters