Air France is forced to launch a restructuring plan of its long-haul network after facing the impossibility of signing agreements enabling the implementation of productivity measures to restore long-term profitability, an announcement by parent firm Air France-KLM said on Monday.
The restructuring plan dubbed “Perform 2020” was presented by Air France’s chairman and CEO, Frédéric Gagey, during the Central Works Council meeting at the company’s headquarters at Roissy.
According to the restructuring plan, Air France’s long-haul capacity should decline by around 10 percent between 2015 and 2017.
The plan currently foresees the closure of five routes and the cancellation of 35 weekly frequencies by 2017. The schedule modifications will focus on routes where losses are highest, serving principally Asia and the Middle-East.
Air France’s long-haul fleet will be scaled back by 14 aircraft, from 107 aircraft in operation during Summer 2015 to 93 in Summer 2017.
According to Air France, the reduction in activity will result in estimated overstaffing of 2,900 people, comprising approximately 300 pilots, 900 cabin crew and 1,700 ground staff. The company said it would aim for “voluntary departures” but said compulsory redundancies could not be ruled out.
Air France meeting turns violent
Air France’s “Perform 2020” restructuring plan was met with a violent reaction from a small group of its workforce.
According to reports, after invading the offices of Air France and interrupting the meeting, angry workers attacked executives who were left half dressed.
Parent firm Air France-KLM said it strongly condemns the physical attacks, which were perpetrated by “particularly aggressive isolated individuals.
“These events do nothing to alter management’s determination to pursue discussions with the unions at any point aimed at implementing the most efficient and constructive path to recovery for the Group.”
A formal complaint is expected to be filed for aggravated assault.
Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air France-KLM, said: “We regret that no agreement has been reached with the Air France flight crew unions. The turnaround of the company can only be fulfilled with the mobilisation of all its employees. The Air France management remains available to reopen negotiations with its unions at any point. We reaffirm our determination to implement the adaptation measures vital to ensuring the long-term future of Air France and allow it to finance its growth.”