FRANKFURT, GERMANY — The Lufthansa Group has revealed its plans for its sixth airline to come on stream in the first half of next year. The new carrier will likely secure its own Air Operator Certificate and run on similar lines to the group's regional subsidiary Lufthansa CityLine, which is based in Munich.

Group CEO Carsten Spohr confirmed the news at a press conference saying the airline would create job opportunities for 250 captains previously employed by bankrupt Germanwings.

Lufthansa and the pilot union European Cockpit Association have agreed that CityLine, which has connected Munich and Frankfurt to German and European cities for more than 20 years, can no longer operate aircraft of more than 75 seats from 2026.

It has a narrowbody fleet of 90-seat Bombardier CRJ900s and Embraer E190/E195 with 100 and 120 seats, respectively. The new launch with fresh contracts and lower salaries has sparked criticism from the country's trade unions.