Air France to Shed 1,826 Ground Jobs as Cuts Outlined

Air France-KLM Group’s Air France unit will eliminate 1,826 ground staff jobs through voluntary employee departures as it put off a decision about pilots and cabin crew.

The moves, aimed chiefly at fixing weaknesses in short-and medium-haul flights and cargo, were announced today to union representatives. The targets are 582 cuts at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport and 128 at the secondary Orly airport, 591 at French provincial airports and 282 in freight, the unit’s chief executive officer, Frederic Gagey, said in a statement.

“Transform 2015 is working and our initial efforts are beginning to pay off,” Gagey said in the statement, referring to the carrier’s restructuring plan. “We need to continue and intensify our actions.”

Today’s disclosures were the first details on how Air France would reach a goal of shedding 2,800 jobs as Europe’s economic slump drags the unit toward a sixth straight annual loss. Gagey and Air France-KLM CEO Alexandre de Juniac are trimming frequencies, shifting flights and extending cuts initiated earlier.

The airline said it still has 350 more pilots than it needs and 700 more cabin crew, and measures to deal with that over-staffing “will be presented later.” Air France announced 5,100 job cuts last year.

The Air France unit won’t make a profit this year, the company announced Sept. 18. The Paris-based parent company, helped by better performance at KLM, still expects an operating profit for 2013.

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