July 20, 2020 / 4:32 PM / 15 days ago

Air France pilots in draft deal on low-cost domestic flights

FILE PHOTO: An Air France Airbus A380 aircraft is seen upon arrival at Charles-de-Gaulle airport after its retirement flight, in Roissy, near Paris, June 26, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM (AIR.PA) has struck a tentative deal with French pilots to transfer some domestic services to low-cost subsidiary Transavia, as the airline group steps up restructuring in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the main pilots’ union said.

A draft deal is “on the table” but has yet to be signed subject to approval by members, a spokeswoman for Air France’s main SNPL pilots’ union said, confirming a report by French daily La Tribune. Air France declined to comment.

The Franco-Dutch group aims to cut some 7,580 jobs by the end of next year as airlines struggle to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and a resulting slump in global travel.

Chief Executive Ben Smith is accelerating cost-cutting measures including the transfer of French domestic services from Air France and its HOP! unit to Transavia. The move requires changes to union agreements that currently bar the no-frills division from competing on domestic routes.

Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Edmund Blair

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