Tue, 09 Mar 2021

Dutch airline KLM is to lay off up to another 1,000 people, following the 5,000 job losses of last year.

Like most international carriers, KLM, also known as Royal Dutch Airlines, has taken major action to downsize its operations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which has devastated international travel.

Border closures have grounded most of the world's planes while airlines that are travelling have been reduced to skeleton route networks.

In a statement, KLM which is partnered with Air France, said the measures taken to date, including the 5,000 elimination of jobs last year, were based on international travel not recovering until 2021.

'The current reality is that the recovery of long-haul traffic will be delayed longer than anticipated, primarily due to existing and new international measures and travel restrictions. This means KLM will have to shed a further 800-1,000 jobs, including 500 FTEs in the Cabin domain, 100 in the Cockpit domain, and 200 to 400 in the Ground domain,' the airline's statement said.

'The total number of jobs KLM has then reduced will be close to 6,000. KLM is compelled to further downsize its organisation. We have already taken an unbelievable array of measures to cope with the crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Regrettably, this resulted, among other things, in the loss of 5,000 jobs and colleagues at KLM in 2020.'

'This number was based on the premise that air traffic would begin to recover in 2021. However, KLM has repeatedly warned that this recovery might be delayed, which means a downgrading of the scenario and consequently the loss of more jobs,' KLM said.

"In July 2020, we announced that 5,000 of our colleagues would have to leave KLM, after which we engaged with intensive consultation and cooperation with all social partners. Various instruments were made available as part of a social plan. These adjustments were very painful, but successful. I have every faith we will resolve these new challenges together once more," Pieter Elbers, CEO KLM said.

"The further downsizing of our organisation does not yet encompass the latest measures announced by the Dutch government in the past 48 hours. These new measures are, however, in line with the restrictions and dynamics we have had to contend with since the start of the pandemic. Even if our crew members are exempt from the new regulations, the further loss of jobs will regrettably be inevitable. The impact of the latest measures will become evident in due course."

KLM was established on 7 October 1919, making it the world's oldest airline still operating under its original name. Operating out of its home base in Amsterdam, the KLM Group served its global network with a fleet of 214 aircraft in 2018, employing 33,000 people. In 2017, the group generated 10 billion euros in revenue.

Following the merger with Air France in 2004, KLM says it has pursued the concept of 1 Air France-KLM Group, two airlines, and 3 core activities (passengers, cargo and engineering & maintenance).

(Photo credit: Wendy de Boer | KLM).

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