Air France to cut 7,600 jobs, confirms Jean-Baptiste Djebbari

An Air France Airbus A380 at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées airport, June 19.

Largely affected by the Covid-19 crisis, Air France plans to cut nearly 7,600 jobs, including a thousand in its regional subsidiary Hop !, confirmed on Wednesday 1is July, the Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.

Asked on BFM-TV and RMC about these figures revealed Tuesday by union sources, Djebbari said that they were indeed “Figures which were mentioned yesterday in extraordinary works council”. He added that the scale of this planned restructuring by 2022 would depend “A lot, both business devices and resumption of traffic”.

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At the end of April, the French State, shareholder of Air France-KLM, provided financial support of 7 billion euros to the Franco-Dutch group, including four billion guaranteed bank loans and 3 billion direct loan, by asking it improve profitability and environmental impact.

“It is not seven billion to pay for social plans”, insisted Mr. Djebbari on Wednesday:

“France supported Air France. It’s seven billion to survive, to be able to pay salaries (…) The State lent seven billion so that Air France could make environmental commitments, which it did, and that it could rebuild its industrial tool, by restructuring its short-haul network, because it is necessary. “

Also according to the Secretary of State, France asked the management of the airline “To have as few forced departures as possible, to have recourse to voluntary departures there too”.

The Hop! particularly affected

The management must present to trade unions on Friday the consequences on employment of its “reconstruction plan”, which provides for a clear cut in internal connections.

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Within the historic company, the 6,560 positions eliminated (out of just over 41,000 full-time equivalent permanent contracts) will be partially (3,500) via natural departures not replaced and partly via voluntary departures, even if forced departures are not excluded for the staff of the short-haul network, according to several union sources and a document consulted on Tuesday by Agence France-presse (AFP).

Read also Air France-KLM records abysmal losses with the coronavirus crisis

The regional company Hop!, Which currently has some 2,400 full-time equivalent positions from union sources, will be particularly affected by the job cuts: just over 1,000 will disappear. Its maintenance sites in Morlaix and Lille as well as its flight crew base in Toulouse are threatened, affirm concordant sources.

The shock linked to the Covid-19 epidemic was unprecedented for the Air France group as well as for its international rivals, who have chained in recent weeks the announcements of clear cuts in their workforce: 22,000 at the German group Lufthansa, 12 000 at British Airways or 10 000 for the American Delta Air Lines.

Read the analysis: Air transport will take at least three years to emerge from the coronavirus crisis

The World with AFP and Reuters

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