Air France to cut staff and short-haul network

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Even if the figures are known since the beginning of the week, Air France must formalize, this Friday, the number of departures within the group strongly affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The group wants to cut 6,560 permanent full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs out of approximately 41,000 in its historic company, or 16% of Air France’s workforce.

Within the regional subsidiary Hop!, Born in 2013 from the merger of the companies Brit Air, Regional and Airlinair, the reduction in staff will be even more severe to reach 40% with a little more than 1,000 jobs cut out of approximately 2,400 jobs (AND P).

The departments will detail the prospects for employment in the two companies during meetings scheduled from 9 a.m. with an extraordinary central social and economic committee (CSEC) Porte de Montreuil in Paris for Air France and an extraordinary CSE at the airport. from Nantes for Hop!

At Air France, just over half (3,500) of the 6,606 positions to be cut must be eliminated via natural departures that have not been replaced, according to a document given to the unions.

Over 2,500 positions for ground staff

The SNPL, the majority union for pilots, has already given the green light to such a system providing for the voluntary departure by the end of the year of around 400 pilots, or 10% of the workforce in the category. The hostesses and stewards are still negotiating with management, which aims to reduce “from the 4th quarter of 2020” an overstaffing estimated at 1,680 positions in 2021.

For ground staff, management targets 2,630 positions (excluding natural departures that have not been replaced) and is moving towards a PDV-PSE project (voluntary departure plan – job safeguard plan) intended to “support the reductions job, giving priority to volunteering. The support functions (administrative services, etc.) as well as the “operational” functions (mechanics, handlers, ground handling agent, etc.) are concerned and the first departures are scheduled for early 2021.

For the short-haul network, if voluntary departures are not sufficient and geographic mobility refused by employees, there could be dry layoffs. It would be a first for Air France.

Departures not replaced at Hop!

For the Hop! Subsidiary, the company specializing in interregional lines will experience natural departures that have not been replaced and a PDV-PSE for all staff. Its fleet is to grow from 57 to around 30 aircraft and focus on supplying the hubs of Lyon and Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, which will lead to the closure of the maintenance sites in Morlaix and Lille as well as the closure of 12 of the 14 flight crew bases, including those of Orly and Toulouse.

“The lasting decline in activity and the economic context linked to the Covid-19 crisis require accelerating the transformation of Air France”, says the company, saying it wants to prioritize “volunteering and mobility” while the State , after having granted Air France-KLM financial support of 7 billion euros, including 4 billion bank loans 90% guaranteed and 3 billion direct loans, had asked the Franco-Dutch group in the spring to improve its profitability and its environmental impact and to start thinking about its network in France.

Difficult restructuring of domestic flights

And this is the other big topic. Destinations departing from Orly with a rail alternative of less than 2 hours 30 minutes and cross roads with a large deficit are threatened.

The catch is that Transavia is currently prevented by perimeter agreements from ensuring domestic flights. Negotiations are underway on this subject but could take time.

Negotiations are underway between Air France and its pilots to allow Transavia to provide domestic flights. In Orly, Transavia could serve Toulon, Montpellier, Perpignan, Biarritz and Brest, lines on which HOP was previously present. Large transverse lines are also on the menu, especially towards Lyon. Air France will continue to provide shuttles, notably to Nice.

At the same time, Transavia, which will become the first operator in Orly, should largely continue to provide its services to Southern Europe and the Maghreb.

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