April 25, 2020 / 1:12 PM / a month ago

Air France KLM CEO: voluntary redundancies first step in cost-cutting plans

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Air France KLM Group is pictured on the first Air France airliner's Airbus A350 during a ceremony at the aircraft builder's headquarters of Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Air France KLM (AIRF.PA) Chief Executive Ben Smith was quoted on Saturday as saying that voluntary redundancies would be part of the airline’s initial cost-cutting plans, and that costs at its ‘HOP’ arm were not viable as things stood.

Smith made his remarks in an interview with Les Echos newspaper just hours after Air France KLM secured 7 billion euros (£6.12 billion) in French government aid, as the airline industry struggles to survive the coronavirus crisis that has all but halted passenger traffic across much of the world.

Smith also told Les Echos that it could take two years, or possibly “even a bit longer”, before things returned to normal in the aviation and airline industry.

Reporting by Laurence Frost and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Gareth Jones

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