Air France plans to launch a voluntary redundancy plan for short-haul ground staff at a works council meeting May 13. 

The airline said it also sees a need for significant recruitment—for more than 1,000 full-time permanent roles—in numerous areas of the business for 2019 and beyond. 

French media have reported the airline wants to cut 465 ground staff jobs, but a spokesman declined to confirm the figure, saying: “The management wants to respect the prerogatives of employee representatives and give them information first on these subjects at the works council meeting on May 13.”

The airline’s management has had a tense relationship with management over the years but the arrival of new group CEO Benjamin Smith last year was seen as a positive step for employee-management relations after he calmed a labor crisis and signed a pay deal

The Air France-KLM group reported a first-quarter operating loss of €303 million ($339 million), reversed from a loss of €118 million in the year-ago period, after a “challenging” first quarter for the entire European air transport industry. 

Air France’s operating loss widened by €78 million to a loss of €256 million while smaller partner KLM posted a €56 million operating loss, €116 million wider than a year ago.

Helen Massy-Beresford, helen.massy-beresford@aviationweek.co.uk