German airline Lufthansa said Thursday that it would have to cut 22,000 full-time jobs, 16% of its workforce, as it predicts a slow recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reported.

"The recovery in demand in the air transport sector will be slow in the foreseeable future," the airline said.

The group will operate about 100 less aircraft after the crisis, leading to "a total of 22,000 fewer full-time positions in the Lufthansa Group, half of them in Germany," according to AFP.

According to a report in Fox Business News, just a few weeks ago, the company hoped that only around 10,000 workers would lose their jobs.

Last week, Lufthansa promised to restructure the company, cutting jobs and selling assets, in order to prove its ability to repay a 9 billion Euro state bailout. The company is seeking to reach an agreement with union leaders, hoping to persuade them to agree to make some workers part-time and to accept other changes, in advance of a shareholder meeting on June 25, when they will vote on the bailout.