KLM presented a vision of the future to cabin crew unions earlier this year, which fell partly within the framework of Perform2020. This vision responds to the changing needs of our customers and contributes to Perform 2020’s targets. At the heart of this vision is the plan to assign extra cabin crew to World Business Class for selected destinations and to have one managing crew member over and above the normal team,instead of two.
In line with this vision of the future and in order to achieve the productivity gains that are needed, KLM’s proposal to the cabin unions entails appointing one purser to work in-team from the start of the winter schedule (with one of the two managing crew members working over and above the normal team on intercontinental flights). This would make it possible to achieve the productivity gains required. Because the purser’s responsibilities are laid down in the collective labour agreement (CLA), this proposal can only be implemented in consultation with the cabin unions.
Because of the deadlock in the pension negotiations, the cabin unions are currently refusing to join KLM in talks. KLM has therefore felt compelled to seek an alternative solution within the possibilities offered by the current CLA. KLM has had to take the decision to implement the following changes to the composition of cabin crews from the start of the winter schedule on 30 October 2016: 300-seater aircraft will have two managing crew members in addition to the normal team (Boeing 777-200, Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 787) with one less Cabin Attendant in Economy Class. This will affect around 40% of long-haul flights. This solution will have the least impact on passengers, while generating a large part of the required 4% productivity gains.
Travelling with KLM should be an unforgettable, positive experience for all our customers. To be able to achieve this, KLM would like to get to know its passengers even better, to approach them in an even more personal manner and to adjust its service to meet their needs. It is our personal contact with our passengers that makes KLM stand out. All KLM’s employees have a part to play here, but on board it is the cabin personnel who are most vital. The way KLM works in the cabin has to change from a primarily logistics-based process, with fixed service moments, to an open and more customer-centric approach.
KLM would very much like the cabin unions to join it at the negotiation table to discuss productivity gains and to seek different ways to achieve the same results.