Air France: The Management Confirms the Plan for 465 Voluntary Job Losses

Air France confirms 465 Job Losses

In the line of the management, Air France ground staff will face 465 job losses spread over its national bases in France

First hitch and perhaps the end of the state of grace for Ben Smith: eight months after his arrival in command of Air France peacemaker, the airline announced Monday 13th May, 2019 a plan of up to 465  voluntary job losses.

The workforce reductions are targeting the group’s short-haul network, which is in full decline, with a loss of 189 million euros in 2018 on the national network, according to a company press release , “in sharp deterioration compared to 2017 (96 millions of euros) “.

Under pressure, particularly from competition from the TGV, Air France plans a 15% drop in activity by the summer of 2021 on this network.

In concrete terms, this will result in the closure of several lines, such as Quimper-Orly this summer and by reducing the number of flights on other routes or by deploying smaller aircraft on certain destinations, according to a source close to management that ensures that three quarters of network losses are concentrated on 20% of routes.

Competition of the TGV

“The TGV mechanically captures 60% of traffic when it connects Paris to a provincial city in 3 hours and even 90% when the link is 2 hours,” says the same source.

In the line of the management, Air France’s ground staff spread over its national bases in France.

The draft departure plan aims in particular 202 deletions of positions within the staff track (ground assistance and loading of aircraft) and 169 among those in charge of the reception of passengers and registration at the airport, distributed throughout the national territory, according to a document sent to the social partners that AFP has procured.

Orly and Marseille are the airports most affected by this project , with a target of 63 jobs eliminated for each, followed closely by Ajaccio (54 posts) and Bastia (50) which should be cut by about one third of their workforce.

Cups that are not really the consequence of the TGV in the case of Corsica but due to situations of overstaffing that last for several years, are we blowing at the headquarters of the company.

According to the document sent to unions before the Central Economic and Social Committee (CSEC, former central business committee) Monday to inform them of the project, the airline aims to open the voluntary departure plan from October 31 and until 1st April 2020.

“It will soon be the subject of a consultation. There will be no forced departure, “says Air France in a statement.

Aid for the reclassification or the creation of a company, voluntary retirement or pre-retirement: the company already foresees several departure modalities to reach its objective of 465 deleted positions.

Air France-KLM Chief Executive Ben Smith
Air France-KLM Chief Executive Ben Smith on February 20, 2019 in Paris during the presentation of the group’s results. (© AFP / Archives / ERIC PIERMONT)

Fragile social peace

Announcements on a reorganization of short and medium-haul networks were expected for more than a year, before being put in parentheses due to the strike movement, then the departure of the former CEO of Air France-KLM Jean -Marc Janaillac, recall several union sources.

Remains that this first reduction of the workforce of the Smith era is difficult to pass at Jerome Beaurain of South-Air, contacted by AFP :

“We were told about a CEO who came to bring growth, he is like the enarques before. It’s not very innovative.”

Social peace so fragile Air France has returned since the signing in October of an inter-categorical agreement including a general wage increase retroactive to 2% from 1 st January 2018 and another 2% revaluation from 1 st January 2019.

Riding on his state of grace, the Canadian boss has since made several agreements with hostesses and stewards, ground staff, and pilots at the beginning of the year. Before a more agitated spring?

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