Air France is expected to cut 1,500 jobs, mainly ground personnel, by the end of 2022, union sources said AFP on Thursday, despite the company insisting that talks with employee representatives have not yet been completed.
Unions said the airline had told them they would avoid forced layoffs and the cuts were caused by natural wear and tear, mainly from support departments such as personnel and logistics.
According to the company's website, almost 45,000 people were employed in 2018 – 29,000 ground staff, 11,800 flight attendants and 3,800 pilots.
According to documents submitted by the company during the negotiations and seen by AFP, the workforce will decrease from 41,230 jobs by the end of 2019 to 39,720 by the end of 2022 – a decrease of 1,510.
Around 3,800 people are expected to leave organically in the same period, either through retirement, death, resignation or dismissal.
Speaking to AFP, Air France said it would not confirm the numbers because "talks with unions are still ongoing."
"If the workforce changes, it will only result from natural departures without forced departures," said a spokesman, adding that the company would continue to hire certain jobs.
Air France had announced earlier Thursday that it would take cost-cutting measures, including a partial hiring freeze, to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the travel sector.
The impact of the COVID-19 virus on airline passenger traffic "has increased dramatically since last week, with cancellations not only to China and Asia, but also to destinations across our network," said Air France CFO Steven Zaat in a letter to the managers of AFP.
Air France, its partner airline KLM and others have canceled most, if not all, of their flights to China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak that killed over 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000.
Last week, the International Air Transport Association announced that airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region will lose a total of $ 27.8 billion in revenue this year due to the coronavirus crisis.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)