More layoffs at KLM; Up to 1,000 jobs at risk
Dutch airline KLM is cutting another 800 to 1 thousand jobs. The aviation sector is not recovering and it is increasingly difficult to make ends meet, the Dutch airline announced on Thursday.
KLM is cutting 500 full-time jobs among the cabin crew, 100 jobs among pilots, and 200 to 400 jobs among the ground crew. This comes on top of the 5 thousand job cuts the airline announced last year with its reorganization plans to get through the coronavirus pandemic.
In those plans, KLM was still hoping that the aviation sector would recover in the course of this year. Instead, travel restrictions are being tightened worldwide to try and stop the spread of new strains of the coronavirus.
The airline pointed out that it repeatedly stated that more jobs may need to be cut if recovery takes longer than hoped. The new layoffs are still separate from the new coronavirus measures the cabinet announced on Wednesday, the airline said.
"The new measures are exemplary of the restrictions and dynamics that we have to deal with worldwide since the outbreak of the pandemic," KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said.
One of the new measures the government announced is that people traveling from coronavirus hotspots will have to undergo a rapid Covid-19 test, and test negative, before boarding the plane. Those who can't show negative test results, will not be allowed to board. On Thursday, KLM announced that this measure will likely result in it having to ground all its long-haul inter-continental flights.
According to KLM, this requirement means that crew members who test positive will have to be left behind abroad, and that does not work with "good employment practices". Leaving staff behind could also result in occupancy problems on the planes. This will affect several hundred flights a week, mainly intercontinental ones, a spokesperson for the airline said to NOS.