KLM to cut €1b by 2017: report

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Plans from the Air France KLM Group show that Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) has to cut spending by about €1 billion in the next three years, the Telegraaf reports. 

Temporary CEO of KLM Pieter Elbers confirmed the new austerity program as a follower of Transform 2015, launched in 2012, that should be finished by this year. Despite the loss of €600 million in the first quarter of this year, the scheme is still on schedule, reports say.

According to Dutch unions, the French side of the company is lagging, especially after control went to Paris. "In September, we will present the next round of working more cleverly and flying more efficiently. That is needed to further reduce the debt burden, to make profits and to be able to invest in fleet and product" Elbers says.

There is still no agreement between KLM and cabin union VNC, Elbers says. According to him, KLM is still holding on to no forced dismissals in the Netherlands. "Everyone has to work together to reach this goal."

Despite growing criticism for the 'unfair' state support from Saudi Arabia, Air France KLM wants to continue partnering with Etihad from Abu Dhabi. "That provides around 100,000 extra passengers this year already. But we take small steps. If something doesn't go our way, then we turn back", Elbers says.

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