Air France has unveiled plans to cut more than 5,000 jobs by the end of next year. The plans are part of an effort to reduce debt and return to growth, the airline says, as it faces tough conditions in Europe and limited growth prospects. The airline tried not to anger France's new Socialist government, carefully avoiding forced layoffs and encouraging early retirement, voluntary departures, part-time employment and work-sharing. However, if unions refuse to accept the plans the airline warns that forced redundancies may be “unavoidable”.
Air France CEO Alexandre de Juniac: “Air France is facing a fundamental choice about its future. If we all make the necessary equitably distributed efforts, there will be no forced departures.”
In January, Air France-KLM revealed a three-year plan to cut debt and operating costs by EUR€2 billion, aiming to return to profitability or break even in 2014.