‘Details on Air France plan needed to end standoff’

Paris, Oct 13 (IANS) France’s main flag carrier, Air France, will further detail its strategic plan of massive layoffs to trim costs, and listen to angry unions’ demands following last week’s scuffles, French Labour Minister Myriam El Khmori said on Tuesday.

“When a company faces difficulties, the management needs to put its strategy on the table and listen to proposals,” Xinhua news agency quoted El Khomri as saying.

“We cannot ask efforts (workers) if they do not have all the elements of the strategy,” she said, adding “dialogue is resumed and I hope this will bring result quickly.”

The prosecutor in the suburbs of Paris ordered earlier to prolong the custody of six employees at Air France Cargo division. They were suspected of the violent protest on October 5 that forced executive members to suspend meeting.

As part of its cost-cutting programme, the French company announced to cut 2,900 jobs by 2017, including 1,700 ground staff, 900 cabin crew and 300 pilots.

It also planned to reduce the long-haul business by 10 percent over the period with a major focus on low-profit destinations, mainly in Asia and the Middle East.

Under its Perform 2020 plan, Air France plans to trim 1.5 percent in unit costs per year between 2015-2017 and to report positive free cash flow every year by the base businesses.

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