Failure of negotiations between Air France and its flight crews means that the French national carrier will announce job losses on Oct. 5, 2015.
The two sides have been unable to reach agreement on pilots and cabin crew meeting the terms of Air France’s Perform 2020 turnround strategy. The airline has been warning for some time that job losses and cuts to the network would result if this situation continued.
Sept. 30 had been given as the deadline for an agreement.
Following an Oct.1 meeting of the Air France-KLM board of directors to assess implementation of Perform 2020, it issued a statement noting “the absence of an agreement on Sept. 30, 2015 in the negotiations between Air France management and flight crew unions, in spite of on-going dialogue over the past several months and numerous proposals put forward by Air France management.
“Facing the impossibility of reaching an agreement to implement the productivity measures within Air France and restore long-term profitability, the board members consider it essential to introduce an alternative plan and have unanimously agreed to mandate Air France-KLM and Air France management to carry this out.
“This plan, which includes a reduction in Air France's activity in 2016 and 2017 in order to guarantee the company's future and economic objectives, will be presented to the Air France Central Works Council on Monday, Oct. 5.”
"We must move forward today to ensure a sustainable future for the Group's activities, allowing it to capture the growth of the sector by relying on its most competitive activities,” said Air France-KLM’s chairman and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. “We are reaffirming our determination to make Air France-KLM one of the leaders in the consolidation of our industry on a global level.”
An Air France spokeswoman said there would be no further comment beyond the statement. Union sources cited by Reuters said they believed that up to 2,900 jobs could be lost. Air France has in the past talked of deferring some of its ordered 25 Boeing 787-9s, which are due to start arriving in late 2016, as well as cutting some long-haul services, some 50% of which are unprofitable.