Air France, Europe’s second largest network carrier, confirmed on Monday that it plans to cut 2,900 jobs and shed up to fourteen aircraft from the long haul fleet in an effort to lower costs.
This drastic alternative plan is in response to intense competition from low cost competitors in the Middle East. According to a statement by the carrier, it hopes to “guarantee the economic objectives and the company’s future”.
In the attempts to cut annual costs by €170 million over the next three years, Air France is not only cutting thousands of jobs, including 1700 ground staff, but has also requested pilots to fly up to 100 more hours for the same rate.
This restructuring within Air France has naturally been highly unpopular within staff, with four unions calling a strike to coincide with the expected launch of the plans. However, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls backs the board, stating that “If Air France does not evolve then it puts itself in danger”.
Air France have said that it is unsure of the exact numbers expected to strike but has insisted that all flights will go ahead despite some delays.
Safiya Bashir on 05/10/2015