Report: KLM close to losing independence from Air France

KLM boeing 787
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the KLM livery (Rendering: KLM). (A Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the KLM livery (Rendering: KLM))

KLM threatens to lose its independence within the Air France-KLM group if the nearly 3 thousand pilots do not soon agree to the controversial collective bargaining agreement made by pilot association VNV and the airline.

Sources within the management and the unions said this to the Telegraaf on Monday.

The collective bargaining agreement includes the freezing of salaries, working harder and more productively and raising the retirement age from 56 to 58. A vote on the agreement on Friday night was postponed after heated discussion. The pilots will be meeting again On Tuesday. According to the newspaper, VNV has warned its members that today is the last chance.

"The autonomy of KLM is at stake. If CEO Pieter Elbers can not realize significant savings through new collective agreements for cockpit, cabin and ground personnel, KLM could still lose its right to self-management, despite earlier promises. KLM only has the right to speak in Paris if we are strong and healthy in the Netherlands", the VNV board said to the newspaper. "There is a lot of tension. If the agreement is abandoned or modified today, it will cause delays with serious consequences."

Piete Elbers wants a smaller and more efficient "KLM New Style" next year.