Air France-KLM denies plans to cut 2,000 jobs

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Pierre-Henri Gourgeon (L), Chief Executive Officer of Air France-KLM, and Peter Hartman, Chief Executive Officer of Dutch airline KLM, arrive for the presentation of the company's 2010-2011 full year results in Paris May 19, 2011. An air travel recovery and cost cutting at Europe's largest airline by revenue lifted Air France-KLM back to a full-year operating profit, with its bottom line also boosted by a unit's share flotation. Photo - Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

Air France-KLM denied it has plans to reduce its employee strength by 2,000 by the end of next year in a bid to save around 800 million euros annually over the next three years.

The joint Dutch-French airline rejected a report published in French daily La Tribune which claimedthese cuts would go alongside 4,000 positions that have not been renewed over the last 15 months, citing several sources.

“Air France categorically denies this report,” an airline spokeswoman told Reuters.

Air France-KLM was formed as a result of the merger in 2004 between Air France and KLM. In 2008, it remained the largest airline in the world in terms of total operating revenues and international passenger kilometres.

La Tribune reported that the 2,000 cuts include all 4,000 positions that have not been renewed over the last 15 months. The recruitment freeze is applicable to all departments and will be presented to the board of directors next month.

Air France-KLM is 15.7 per cent owned by the French government whereas 9.8 percent-owned by employees. The airline spends about one-third of its revenue on staff, its biggest expense compared with Lufthansa which spendsabout a quarter on its employees.

Source: Reuters

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