Martinair (MP, Amsterdam Schiphol) has confirmed it will phase out its fleet of six MD-11(F)s by June next year in a move that will affect more than 330 employees including 170 ground staff FTEs in the Netherlands, 50 FTEs abroad and 110 cockpit FTEs.

In a statement, the Air France-KLM Royal Dutch Airlines subsidiary reaffirmed previously announced plans to shift its operations to just four B747-400(F)s.

"Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo has decided on a business model which requires less freighter capacity, rather than a model with no freighters at all," the Franco Dutch carrier said. "Consequently, as an operating carrier within the KLM Group, Martinair Cargo will scale back its fleet and use just one type of aircraft, the Boeing 747."

While negotiations between Martinair Cargo and its unions are ongoing, the carrier's management has not dispelled the possibility of compulsory redundancies.

As part of its "Perform 2020" five-year growth plan, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo will, from next year onwards, operate a mainline fleet of six dedicated freighters including two B777-Fs, based out of Paris CDG, and four B747-400(F)s, based out of Amsterdam Schiphol, with KLM's fleet of fifteen B747-400(M)s to offer supplemental capacity.

"Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo is convinced that the remaining flexible freighters will continue to provide its clients with a full range of solutions to meet their needs," the airline group added. "The freighter network at Schiphol will concentrate on Africa and North, Central and South America and will, of course, continue to serve important markets, such as the flower sector."

With cargo generating an annual income of EUR2.5 billion (USD2.6 billion), Air France-KLM says it will continue to invest in the sector with particular attention being paid to the Express, Pharma, e-commerce niches.