Air France plans to cut 2,800 more jobs

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The airline’s chief executive Frédéric Gagey blamed the cuts, to be carried out by the end of 2014, on 'weak demand'.

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Air France informed union representatives Wednesday that it planned to eliminate an additional 2,800 jobs, or 5 percent of its work force, by the end of next year, as the carrier scrambles to return to profitability, reports The New York Times.

“We are in a period of weak demand,” Frédéric Gagey, the airline’s chief executive, said after a three-hour meeting with Air France employee councils. “We are facing the full brunt of the cyclicality of air transport.”

Like many companies in Europe, Air France continues to struggle in the face of a weak economy and rising unemployment.

The airline announced 5,100 job cuts in June 2012, part of a broader restrucuring plan at the parent company, the French-Dutch group Air France-KLM. Alexandre de Juniac, the chief executive of Air France-KLM, said the group would probably report a net loss for 2013 — a sixth consecutive annual loss — falling short of an initial goal of breaking even. But he expects the additional measures will restore the company to profitability by the end of 2014.

Responding to pressure from the Socialist government in France to avoid job losses, Air France said the latest staff reductions would be achieved largely through a mix of voluntary departures, early retirements, attrition and reduced working hours. Negotiations with unions on the new cuts will begin on Oct. 4, the company said.

“I believe the whole company is mobilized to confront this second challenge,” Mr. de Juniac said.

Read more of this report from The New York Times.