France

Air France threatens to cut long-haul flights

Reuters/ file.

Air France has threatened to cut 10 per cent of its long-haul flights and lay off employees if its new restructuring plan is not accepted, according to unions on Friday.

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Although the French carrier has managed until now to reduce its workforce through voluntary departures, it is still seeking for another 1.8 billion euros in cost savings.

The company could cut long-haul flights by expanding its low-cost unit.

Such a plan, inspired by the German carrier Lufthansa, “could only apply to a few routes”, a source close to the matter said.

Most savings would come by increasing the flight crews' working time while keeping wages at the same level.

Unions worry that up to 14 routes could be cut, with each plane providing employment for 350 people.

Air France, which has shed nine per cent of its workforce since 2012, denied in June that 3,300 more jobs could go.

The carrier said it is still seeking an agreement on the new restructuring plan by the end of September.

The group Air France-KLM is struggling to keep up with low-cost competition and lost 638 million euros in the first half of 2015.

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