Air France heading for more job cuts

Paris, Jan 22: Air France told union leaders today that the heavily-indebted French airline would shed more jobs, reportedly offering new voluntary departure incentives to 800 ground personnel and cabin crew.

No figures were provided publicly by the management of the airline. Despite shedding 8,000 jobs over the past three years, the AirFrance-KLM group looks set to continue losing money.


But union sources said plans would seek to reduce the number of Air France ground staff by 500 and cabin stewards and stewardesses by 300.

The Air France-KLM group, which lost 1.8 billion euros in 2013, hasn't turned a profit since 2010. Air France and its subsidiaries employ some 65,000 people.

Further details could come out during the next meeting between Air France management and union leaders on February 5, or when the airline group releases its 2014 results on February 19.

Air France-KLM executives have been hinting that more job cuts were on the way after issuing a profit warning last month.

A strike by Air France pilots last year cost the airline some 400 million euros and drove a spike through management's plans to improve competitiveness by expanding a low-cost unit.

The company aims to reduce its debt to 4.5 billion euros at the end of 2015, from 6.5 billion at the beginning of 2012. Analysts expect it may adopt other cost savings measures such as delaying purchases of new aircraft. 


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