Air France is to cut 1,500 jobs, mostly ground staff, by late 2022, union sources told AFP Thursday, though the company declined to confirm the figures pending talks with labour representatives.
Unions said the airline would avoid forced layoffs and the cuts would come instead through natural attrition, mainly from support departments in human resources, logistics and other operations.
Air France, for its part, said that ‘discussions are still under way’ with unions.
The company's website says it had nearly 45,000 employees in 2018 -- 29,000 ground staff, 11,800 flight attendants, and 3,800 pilots.
Earlier Thursday, Air France said it was taking cost-cutting measures, including a partial hiring freeze, to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the travel sector.
The effect on airline passenger traffic from the COVID-19 virus ‘increased strongly since last week, with cancellations not only to China and Asia, but to destinations across our entire network,’ Air France financial director Steven Zaat said in a letter to managers seen by AFP.
Air France, its partner airline KLM and others have suspended most if not all flights to China, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000.
Last week, the International Air Transport Association said it estimates that airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region stand to lose a combined $27.8 billion in revenue this year due to the coronavirus crisis.
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