Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.
For years members of the group’s executive board were offered flights aboard its fleet of private jets at or below the price of a commercial trip.
But by 2014 directors’ use of the planes for personal travel — including family holidays — had grown so extensive that Ferdinand Piech, then chairman of the supervisory board, demanded they pay back millions in costs.
They included chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who later stepped down over the automaker’s admission that it had installed software to fool regulatory emissions tests in 11 million cars worldwide.
Among others presented with a bill — which in some cases exceeded one million euros ($1.1 million) — were Hans-Dieter Poetsch, now chairman of the supervisory board, and Rupert Stadler, chief executive of VW subsidiary Audi.
VW bosses have lost other benefits including subsidised rents on their homes, while there are stricter limits on the use of chauffeured company cars for private travel, Bild am Sonntag reports.
Executives continue to enjoy free private jet flights home at the weekend from the firm’s HQ in Wolfsburg, northern Germany.