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Air France set to cut as many as '2,600 jobs'

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Air France set to cut as many as '2,600 jobs'
File photo: Kentaro Lemoto
12:43 CEST+02:00
Air France may cut as many as 2,600 jobs by next year, a French trade union has revealed. News of the expected cost-cutting measure comes as the company struggles to compete with low-cost airlines in a weak economy.

A leading trade union said on Wednesday that Air France will cut up to 2,600 jobs in a bid to reduce staffing costs.

The move comes as part of a restructuring drive called Transform 2015 that has already seen thousands take voluntary redundancy.

Didier Fauverte, head of the company's CGT union branch said that the 2,500 to 2,600 job cuts would all be voluntary.

The news was broken during a meeting with employee representatives at a works council meeting on Wednesday.

Air France management has so far refused to comment.

AFP reports that the airline has already been struggling to cope with the rise of low-cost airlines and competition from Middle Eastern and Asian carriers.

The cuts will represent only the latest raft of job losses at the Franco-Dutch company.

“Altogether, 10,000 jobs will have been lost over the past four years,” Fauverte added.

Meanwhile, the airline continues to report losses.

Last Friday the company reported net losses of €793 million ($1.05 billion) for the first half of 2013, compared with €1.27 billion in the first half of last year.

In order to compete with more established budget airlines, Air France recently launched its own low-cost service 'Hop!'.

The service, which has 98 aircraft flying to 136 destinations throughout France and Europe, took off in March earlier this year.

The new airline is the result of a merger between Air France’s subsidiaries Britair, Regional and Airlinair, and with one-way tickets starting from €55, is an effort to rival established budget operators like easyJet and Ryanair.

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