Air France announced that it will cut 7,500 jobs. The airline had to ground the majority of its flights due to COVID-19. As traveling was at a halt and there was no business or very low business for the airline, it has to take this action.
Protests Against the Airline
Air France and regional subsidiary Hop had a discussion at its headquarters on Friday. It is located near Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The activists from multiple unions have been protesting outside the headquarters.
However, the protestors were mainly furious that the French government did not require Air France to protect jobs. Because the airline won seven billion euros in state bailout funds in May.
The workers cautioned that laying off staff will impact severely across the French economy. They also said bailout funds that the company has received from the government should be used to rebuild the company instead of pushing people into unemployment.
“It’s too easy to take Covid-19 as an excuse,” said Julien Lemarie, a 35-year-old Hop mechanic demonstrating at the airport.
However, it is predicted that airlines would lose about 84 billion US dollars this year around the world. And their revenues will fall to half of what they were earning last year.
Number of Jobs Cut
On Friday night the management of the company announced that they will lay off about 6,500 of 41,000 employees at Air France. However, the company will cut about 1,000 of the 2,400 jobs at Hop by 2022. The company came to this decision after discussing the matter with personnel representatives.
The company said most of the losses will come through not replacing retiring and departing workers. However, the company would encourage voluntary departures and early retirements before imposing layoffs.
The airline said that the state bailout would help it to cope up with the short-term crisis. Moreover, it will focus on changing its domestic business model and becoming more environmentally responsible.
The seven billion euros in state aid for Air France is in the form of loans and loan guarantees and part of a broader 15 billion euro rescue plan from the government for the aviation sector.
The Pandemic Effect
The coronavirus pandemic has doomed the future of the aviation industry. Many airlines have filed for bankruptcy or sought bailouts to survive the near-shutdown in their activity. However, it is predicted that it will take years for airlines to recover from the losses.
The airline said it was flying less than 95 percent during the worst three months of the coronavirus pandemic. Air France was losing 15 million euros a day and that it does not expect to recover until 2024.