Air France is cutting costs to better compete with Gulf airlines and fast-growing European low-cost carriers. It dropped a restructuring project with forced job cuts in January and tilted its plans towards growth in the wake of a slide in oil prices.
“The cost per hour of flying falls, this is necessary for the company to be competitive, but this is done in the context of more flying hours, so no one loses out,” chief executive Frederic Gagey said. “Overall, pilot pay won’t drop.”
Air France said the proposals would improve productivity by between 5 and 10 percent, and that the resulting gains would be shared with pilots, without being more specific.
Air France’s Franco-Dutch parent returned to profit last year, helped by a drop in the fuel bill and growth in passenger numbers.