Air France (AF, Paris CDG) has offered an agreement to unions to cut 149 jobs among its ground staff working in the carrier’s short-haul network at Paris Orly and at provincial airports such as Marseilles and Strasbourg, union sources have told the Europe 1 radio station and Agence France-Presse news agency.

The flag carrier has suggested conducting the layoffs through a collective settlement agreement (rupture conventionnelle collective - RCC), which aims at facilitating voluntary departures and dissociating staff from any employment safeguard plans.

According the the sources, the airline is continuing its transformation plan, initiated by Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith in summer 2020, which provides for the elimination of 7,580 jobs by the end of 2022, including 6,560 at the main airline and 1,020 at HOP! (France) (A5, Nantes). It was envisaged that the time that more than 3,500 of these jobs would disappear through natural departures due to the average age of its 41,000-strong workforce.

However, 149 is not as many as the nearly 300 ground-staff job cuts that Le Figaro reported Air France was negotiating in late June. The airline had been hoping to finalise negotiations on these latest redundancies by the end of July, the newspaper added.

According to Europe 1’s sources, 97% of Air France’s voluntary departure plan has already been carried out, but an over-staffing of 89 positions was identified among ground employees. The airline prefers an RCC to forced layoffs - such an agreement opens the right to training or business creation for those who leave voluntarily.

A union source said that “the management has planned a forward-looking management of employment with more than 300 overstaffed employees on the short-haul in 2024.”

“Air France confirms that it has entered into negotiations with the organisations representing ground staff,” the airline confirmed while declining to add further details.