KLM allowed to cut cabin staffing on intercontinental routes

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A KLM Boeing 777 (Photo: Patrick Cardinal/Wikimedia Commons)A KLM Boeing 777 (Photo: Patrick Cardinal/Wikimedia Commons)

KLM is allowed to reduce the number of cabin crew members on long-haul, intercontinental flights without getting permission from the works council, the Enterprise Chamber of the court ruled on Thursday in a lawsuit brought by the works council, ANP reports.

Since October KLM has been using one fewer flight attendant in about four in ten long flights. The airline implemented this measure after failing to reach agreements with the unions about other ways to cut costs. 

The unions are strongly opposed to the measure, even organizing several strikes against it. According to the unions, reducing the cabin crew risks on board safety, reduces service to passengers and increases the workload for the rest of the crew. 

In reaction to the ruling, KLM repeated that cuts to cabin staffing was not their first choice and the airline hopes to reenter negotiations with the unions soon. In the meantime, the airline is trying to figure out how to work more efficiently with fewer people. "That could mean that the purser, the manager in the cabin, will help more", a spokesperson said to the newswire. 

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