KLM says 1,500 new layoffs bringing total job cuts to one in five

In this file photo taken on April 23, 2020 KLM aircrafts are seen at a standstill on the tarmac of Schiphol airport, as the country is under lockdown to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 01 August 2020

KLM says 1,500 new layoffs bringing total job cuts to one in five

  • Coronavirus and emissions reduction hit Dutch airline’s bottom line

AMSTERDAM: KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM, said on Friday that it would cut 1,500 additional jobs as part of a restructuring in which it needs to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2030 as well as prepare for recovering traffic after the coronavirus crisis.
Parent company Air France-KLM on Thursday reported a €1.55 billion ($1.8 billion) operating loss for the second quarter, with traffic down 95 percent from a year earlier.
KLM said that the new cuts would mean its workforce, which was 33,000 before the pandemic, would be reduced by 20 percent in all by 2022. It did not rule out further cuts.
“In all scenarios, demand is only expected to recover by 2023 or 2024 at the earliest,” CEO Pieter Elbers said in a statement.
The restructuring was aimed at retaining as many “jobs as we can in a responsible manner and repaying loans as quickly as possible,” he said.
By comparison, Air France SA plans to cut 6,500 jobs, or 16 percent of its workforce, through 2022.
The Dutch and French governments have given the two national carriers, which merged in 2004, a combined €10.4 billion ($12.4 billion) in bailout money, in a mix of loans and loan guarantees.
Conditions imposed by the Dutch government include pay cuts for executives and pilots, and a ban on bonuses and dividends.
KLM, while smaller than Air France, contributed more to group profits in the years before 2020, leading at times to friction between the French and Dutch governments.
Traffic is gradually resuming at KLM, although Elbers said that the latest rise in cases in many countries could threaten that.
While most of KLM’s routes have been restored, it said last week it planned to operate 13,000 flights in August, still down 60 percent from the same month a year ago.


Emirates launches airbridge between Dubai, Lebanon emergency relief 

Updated 14 August 2020

Emirates launches airbridge between Dubai, Lebanon emergency relief 

  • Customers of Emirates will be able to donate cash or pledge their Skywards Miles to the airline for the aid
  • Emirates SkyCargo will also provide 20 percent reduction on air freight transportation charges for approved shipments

DUBAI: UAE national carrier Emirates SkyCargo plans to ramp up its freighter operations to Lebanon with 50 flights to deliver emergency relief in the wake of the Beirut port blast that killed nearly 200 people.
Customers of Emirates will be able to donate cash or pledge their Skywards Miles to the airline for the aid, state news agency WAM reported.
The Emirates Airline Foundation will coordinate shipments of urgent food, medical supplies with NGO partners to ensure donations directly help those affected on the ground.
Emirates SkyCargo will also provide 20 percent reduction on air freight transportation charges for approved shipments, underscoring its commitment to expedite emergency relief efforts to Beirut.
“Today, the world is banding together to stand in solidarity with Lebanon, providing urgent relief and immediate recovery support to those affected by this tragic disaster,” Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said. 
“Emirates supports the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian efforts to support Lebanon and is committed to bolster its global emergency response to ensure that it can support organizations which provide urgent care, shelter, food and medical support to the Lebanese people,” he added. 
Emirates said that it had dispatched several charter flights carrying food, clothing and medical supplies donated by various grassroots organizations in the UAE to Lebanon.