Air France-KLM denies reports of deep Dutch job cuts

28th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

Air France-KLM on Tuesday denied Dutch media reports of massive job cuts planned at the Dutch national carrier, saying they spread "false information based on false figures".

Dutch daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad ran a front-page article, saying that about 7,500 jobs, or one-in-four of the workforce, would be cut under a programme of restructuring and outsourcing at the 95-year-old merged airline.

"The airline plans to outsource jobs, making expensive KLM employees superfluous," the AD said.

On Monday, another Dutch daily tabloid, the Telegraaf had also carried a report saying that "thousands of job losses" looked likely.

Air France-KLM, hard hit by a recent strike by Air France pilots, issued a strongly-worded statement denying the reports.

"While being in a financial quiet period (with) the third quarter results taking place tomorrow (Wednesday), the Group cannot let circulate pure speculation in the Dutch media, more especially false information and false figures," it said.

KLM too denied the reports.

The reports have been "pulled out of thin air" Dutch news agency ANP quoted a KLM official as saying.

Renier Castelein, chairman of Dutch union De Unie told the AD he expected newly-appointed KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers "to reorganise substantially".

Elbers was appointed to replace Camiel Eurlings, who abruptly quit earlier this month after taking heavy criticism for not being forceful enough in representing KLM's interests in the group.

Air France and KLM merged in 2004, but loss-making operations continue in the light of tough competition from low-budget operators, heavily subsidised Middle East-based carriers and rising fuel costs.

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© 2014 AFP

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