Air France recently announced the retirement of all A380 aircraft to try and alleviate its financial situation. Photo by Karam Sodhi | AeroNewsX
If Air France wants to obtain €7 billion of state aid, operation costs have to go down. The airline’s revenue has dropped 95% compared to the previous year, and efficiency is the key to survive this pandemic. On Friday, the French flag carrier announced it will cut at least 7500 jobs. On Friday, July 3rd, Air France announced it will cut 7580 jobs before 2022. The regional carrier HOP! is going to cut staff members from 2420 to 1020, while Air France will lose 6560 employees. These cuts are going to be partly voluntary, as said by the company, "Air France and HOP! are working together with the unions to implement plans that give priority to voluntary departures, early retirement arrangements, and professional and geographical mobility."
One of the agreed conditions for receiving the €7 billion support was becoming more efficient. The airline already retired its A380 fleet in May, but clearly, this is not enough. Reducing total staff members was another part of the plan.
In the early stages of the pandemic, airlines said traffic levels will still match the pre-pandemic levels in 2020. However, most airlines changed their expectations matching Air France’s less hopeful prediction as time passed.
“Recovery looks set to be very slow due to the uncertainties regarding the health situation, the lifting of travel restrictions, and changing commercial demand. In this way, even on the basis of ambitious recovery assumptions, Air France predicts that it will not see the same level of activity as in 2019 before 2024.”