Air France to cut workforce as it seeks to return to black

Air France to cut workforce as it seeks to return to black

Air France has confirmed it will shed as many as 5,000 jobs as it seeks to restore its competitiveness and reposition its offering.

Chief executive Alexandre de Juniac outlined the plans in Paris earlier, stating excess staff would be let go without compulsory redundancies.

The figure represents approximately ten per cent of the flag-carrier’s 53,000 staff and will be achieved through natural turnover and voluntary redundancy, de Juniac explained.

The move is part of the Air France KLM group’s recovery plan with both airlines, Air France and KLM, seeking to implement measures designed to ensure the group rapidly returns to breakeven.

Air France hopes to achieve a 20 per cent increase in economic efficiency.

Transform 2015, as the repositioning is entitled was launched earlier this year, after Air France posted a £653 million loss for 2011.

Restructure

To regain its competitiveness, the Air France’s short and medium-haul activity will be restructured around three complementary poles: Air France, a French regional hub and Transavia France.

Air France will continue to develop by feeding its hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, its main Business domestic and European routes from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly, as well as its three regional bases in Marseille, Nice and Toulouse.

The grouping together of operations by Airlinair, Brit Air and Regional within a new regional hub will give rise to a 15 per cent cost reduction and will offer customers an adapted and more competitive range of services for Business and leisure travel within France and to the rest of Europe.

To capture the growth in the leisure sector, Air France has chosen to develop its subsidiary Transavia France which will increase from 2013 the frequency of its existing flights and will operate new routes from Paris-Orly, Lille, Lyon and Nantes.

No Air France routes or frequencies will be transferred to Transavia France.

Reposition

Air France intends to regain growth momentum by making a difference with the quality of its products and services, especially in First and Business class.

Agreements with staff to implement new working practices will be put forward at the end of the month.

“Air France is facing a fundamental choice about its future,” explained de Juniac.

“Our business plan has two ambitions: to ensure Air France returns to profitability and to better serve our customers.

“If we all make the necessary equitably distributed efforts, there will be no forced departures.

“The signature of the agreements in the next few days will involve all Air France staff and will illustrate everyone’s determination to put Air France back on the road to recovery.

Economic Efficiency

To improve customer channels at airports, Air France will also be increasing the use of new technologies to provide easier and faster passenger channels at new infrastructures such as the S4 boarding satellite at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Economic efficiency at stations will also be optimised by renegotiating purchasing agreements, streamlining processes and increasing productivity.

Cargo Division

The cargo division will continue to accelerate the efforts made over the past three years to reduce costs and improve its economic performance in order to contribute positively to the company’s long-haul operating revenue, while at the same time improving the operations of its cargo fleet, reduced to four aircraft.

The full integration with KLM Cargo and Martinair will be finalised/ and new synergies will be explored with regional and international stations.