Air France stated (04-Sep-2009) it has communicated with the Comité Central d’Entreprise (Workers’ Council) at an extraordinary meeting its intention to implement a voluntary redundancy plan, in line with the majority agreement signed in Jul-2009. The timetable and terms of the plan, which could involve approximately 1,500 jobs, will be the subject of discussions as early as next week, with a view to presenting a project voluntary redundancy plan to the CCE on 21-Oct-2009. The job reductions will occur as the carrier adopts a strategy to reduce passenger capacity by approximately 5% and cargo capacity by approximately 15%, with the airline also preparing to reorganise its medium-haul business (in terms of both network and product) [more]
Air France to reduce workforce by up to 1,500, reorganising medium-haul business
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China and France expand flights for airlines, giving China aeropolitical negotiating leverage
China and France have agreed to a significant expansion of flights between their countries. Chinese airlines, which have no more than 50 weekly flights to France, will be permitted to grow to 126 weekly flights within a few years. This tranche of rights will likely double the number of Chinese airlines in France (currently four) and take Chinese airlines to serving French cities other than Paris.
Air France will likely grow partnerships with SkyTeam's China members, although Air France will need to make concessions on its existing China JVs. It is unclear whether Air France will revisit considerations of investing in China Southern.
Chinese airlines will become France's second largest source of foreign long haul flights, and in the long term China could surpass the US. For China, France could become its third largest long haul market after the US and Australia. France is China's third major aeropolitical expansion in recent months, after the UK and Australia. This could give China leverage to press the US and Canada to expand traffic rights, although these markets are far more convoluted.