Covid: Dutch airline KLM to shed up to 5,000 jobs – AND other airline job loss numbers

KLM is cutting up to 5,000 jobs, despite a €3.4 billion bailout from the Dutch government, due to the Covid pandemic. KLM is part of the Air France KLM group. The job cuts over coming months would involve around 1,500 compulsory layoffs from KLM’s current workforce of 33,000. The jobs lost would be up to 300 flight crew, 300 cabin crew, 500 ground staff and around 400 jobs at KLM subsidiaries and in the Air France-KLM group positions. Then there would also be 2,000 voluntary redundancies announced earlier this year, and further cuts would be made through non-renewal of 1,500 temporary contracts. Some 4,500 to 5,000 positions in the KLM Group will cease to exist.  Many other airlines are laying off staff. The numbers are approximately:  Swissport (4,556 jobs).  British Airways (up to 12,000 jobs). Job losses could also occur at IAG’s other airlines, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus.  EasyJet (around 4,500 jobs).  Virgin Atlantic (3,000 jobs).  Ryanair (about 3,000 jobs).  Air France (maybe up to 7,500 jobs). Tui (8,000 jobs).  Lufthansa (22,000 jobs).  Scandinavia Airlines (5,000 jobs).  Boeing (? 16,000 jobs).  Airbus (15,000 jobs). 


Dutch airline KLM says to shed up to 5,000 jobs due to virus with AFP


KLM’s job cuts come despite a multi-billion-euro bailout.

Dutch airline KLM said Friday (31 July) it would shed up to 5,000 jobs due to a “crisis of unprecedented magnitude” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The carrier, part of the Air France KLM group, said the cuts through the end of 2021 were necessary as it had made huge losses despite a €3.4 billion Dutch government bailout.

The cuts would involve around 1,500 compulsory layoffs from KLM’s current workforce of 33,000, the airline said.

There would also be 2,000 voluntary redundancies announced earlier this year, while further cuts would be made through non-renewal of 1,500 temporary contracts.

“KLM is in the throes of a crisis of unprecedented magnitude… Expectations are that the road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty,” KLM said in a statement.

“This means that KLM’s structure and size must be rigorously adjusted even further in the years ahead. Consequently, a total of 4,500 to 5,000 positions in the entire KLM Group will cease to exist.”

The European Commission has approved the Dutch government’s €3.4 billion support package for national airline KLM, despite criticism levelled at conditions linked to pay cuts.

The jobs lost would involve up to 300 flight crew, 300 cabin crew, 500 ground staff and around 400 jobs at KLM subsidiaries and in the Air France-KLM group positions.

KLM said it would “keep open the possibility of further reductions” due to the “high level of uncertainty” in the airline business due to the pandemic, with demand not expected to recover until 2023 or 2024.

“It is incredibly difficult and sad for KLM to now have to bid farewell to valuable, committed colleagues,” KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said in the statement.

KLM on Thursday reported an unprecedented €768 million loss for the first half of 2020, with passenger numbers falling 95% in the second quarter from nine million to less than half a million.

Air France-KLM on Thursday announced a total second-quarter loss of €2.6 billion, adding that the twin airlines must “significantly reduce” the workforce.

KLM and Air France are among a host of European airlines given state support to get through the pandemic.

Virus-hit Air France scraps super-jumbos immediately

Air France announced on Wednesday (20 May) that it would ground its fleet of A380 super-jumbos two years ahead of schedule, in response to ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.


Some of the airline sector job losses so far:

Swissport (4,556 jobs)

Aviation services company Swissport said it could cut 4,556 jobs in the UK and Ireland, becoming the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic as it continues to wreak havoc on the airline industry.

Swissport Western Europe, which operates at London airports Heathrow and Gatwick, said in a statement that it had to reduce its staff size to survive the crisis.

The company, which hires more than 64,000 people globally, told Euronews it was inevitable staff in Europe will also be made redundant — but did not say how many jobs were at risk.

British Airways (up to 12,000 jobs)

British Airways announced at the end of April it would cut up to 12,000 jobs from its 42,000-strong workforce due to coronavirus’ devastating impact on the travel industry.

The airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), said it needed to impose a “restructuring and redundancy programme” until the demand for air travel returns to pre-coronavirus levels.

Job losses could also occur at IAG’s other airlines, Iberia and Vueling in Spain and Ireland’s Aer Lingus, CEO Willie Walsh has warned.

EasyJet (around 4,500 jobs)

Britain’s low-cost airline EasyJet has also announced it would be cutting jobs in the wake of coronavirus.

The company said 30 per cent of its workforce would be slashed, which amounts to about 4,500 jobs.

At the end of June, EasyJet said it was also considering closing three of its bases in the UK.

Virgin Atlantic (3,000 jobs)

The airline has announced it will cut more than 3,000 jobs in the UK and end its operations at Gatwick Airport.

Ryanair (about 3,000 jobs)

Budget airline Ryanair said it would cut 15 per cent of its workforce globally – about 3,000 jobs – after the pandemic grounded flights.

Chief executive, Michael O’Leary said the measures are “the minimum that we need just to survive the next 12 months.”

O’Leary took a 50 per cent pay cut for April and May and has now extended it until the end of March next year.

Airbus (15,000 jobs)

Airbus said on June 30 it is to cut 15,000 jobs as it faces “the gravest crisis this sector has ever experienced”. This represents a 1% reduction in the company’s workforce worldwide.

This makes the outlook worse for the European planemaker, which said in May it could cut up to 10,000 jobs amid the coronavirus travel slump.

Around 5,100 jobs will be cut in Germany, 5,000 in France, 1,700 in the United Kingdom, 900 in Spain and 1,300 at the group’s other sites around the world.

Airbus said in April it would cut the number of planes it built by a third as airlines cancelled or delayed orders as flights have been grounded.

Air France

Air France says it will be cutting 7,500 jobs from workforce by 2022. This includes 6,500 job cuts from Air France itself, while a further 1,000 will be lost at regional subsidiary Hop.

According to the French flagship carrier, the majority of the cuts are hoped to be made by not replacing resigning and retiring workers.

It said it would also be encouraging voluntary resignations and resignations before redundancies are eventually brought into play.

Airbus axes 15,000 jobs amid sector’s ‘gravest crisis’

Eurolines (compulsory liquidation)  COACH COMPANY

A French court has placed long-distance coach company Eurolines into compulsory liquidation, with the French transport giant stopping operations after 35 years.

End of the road for French coach giant Eurolines as company goes into liquidation after 35 years
It came after Eurolines was bought out by German group FlixBus last year, but unions have claimed the holding company refused to look for a buyer and is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to axe jobs.

The decision concerns 36 people still employed by Eurolines, with over 50 redeployed in an employment preservation plan.

Tui (8,000 jobs)

Anglo-German travel firm Tui announced on May 13 it would cut 8,000 jobs worldwide.

In a half-year financial report, it said the pandemic was “unquestionably the greatest crisis the tourism industry and Tui has ever faced.”

The Anglo-German company has had to halt trips.

In March, Tui was granted a loan of €1.8 billion by the German government to help see it through the pandemic.

MTU Aero Engines (1,000-1,500 jobs) GERMANY

The German aircraft engine manufacturer announced on July 6 it aims to cut its workforce by 10-15% by the end of 2021 in its German and international plants through “increased use of flexible measures” and partial retirement or early retirement agreements.

Lufthansa (22,000 jobs)

German airline Lufthansa said on June 11 it would cut 22,000 jobs due to travel disruptions caused by the coronavirus. The airline said half the job cuts would be in Germany.

Half of the Lufthansa jobs are expected to go in Germany.

Scandinavia Airlines (5,000 jobs)

While Scandinavia Airlines (SAS) also announced temporary job cuts in March, a month later it said 5,000 jobs—almost half the total number of employees—will lose their jobs permanently.

The company, part-owned by Sweden and Denmark, said that the potential reduction of the workforce would be split with approximately 1,900 positions in Sweden, 1,300 in Norway and 1,700 in Denmark.


Boeing (? 16,000 jobs)

In May, Boeing said that it would cut 10 per cent of its 160,000 strong workforce after it was forced to slim down production volumes due to the uncertainty for global aviation.  (See link)



See earlier:

Dutch government KLM €3.4 billion rescue plan, with some conditions

The Dutch government has said the national airline, KLM, is set for a €3.4 billion bailout package, if it meets certain targets, but this still requires regulatory approval from Brussels, in case it conflicts with EU state-aid rules. KLM was promised between €2-4 billion at the end of April, when both the Dutch and French governments pledged financial support to the Air France-KLM group. France’s €7 billion bailout was quickly approved by the EC’s competition regulators. The €3.4 billion package would be made up of €2.4 billion in state-guaranteed bank loans and a €1 billion direct loan. The loan would be provided in tranches and last up until 2025, with each payment only made after the government has judged that conditions are being adequately fulfilled.  Senior staff who earn more than three times the average salary will have a 20% pay cut. Until the state’s investment is repaid in full, no dividends will be paid out to shareholders and management will not get bonuses. Cost-cutting measures worth 15% will have to be made. The number of night flights from Schiphol will be cut, but details are not yet decided.  KLM will also have to halve CO2 per passenger-kilometre by 2030, BUT there is no cap on KLM’s total CO2 emissions.