Air France announces salary increases and a bonus

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Air France will grant a 5% salary increase to all its employees, together with a bonus of 1,000 euros, in response to inflation, the airline announced on Wednesday. After consultation with the trade unions, Air France has decided on “a general salary increase of 5%, paid in anticipation of the mandatory annual negotiations (NAO) 2023”, and which will be gradually implemented in the coming months, she clarified.

An exceptional bonus of 1,000 euros

The company will also pay next month “to all employees (…) an exceptional purchasing power bonus of 1,000 euros” for an employee working full time. The more than 38,000 Air France employees are concerned: “ground staff, cabin crew and pilots”. Other negotiations take place in the subsidiaries of the company.

Air France also explained that “the first levels of remuneration would benefit from November 2022 from a floor increase of 130 euros gross monthly (for a full-time employee) under the increases planned for all”. The 5% increase will consist of “a first general increase of 2% from November 2022”, followed by a “second general increase of 2.5% from February 2023”, then a “commitment of a minimum of 0.5% general increase which will be proposed” during the NAO scheduled from May 2023.

“A historically high level of inflation”

These measures are taken to respond to the “exceptional situation” caused by “a historically high level of inflation”, explained Air France. On Tuesday, the government raised its inflation forecast for this year, from 5% to 5.3%, and indicated that it expected a high price increase at least until February 2023. The gestures of Air France occur while the company “remains strongly constrained by its financial situation and is itself suffering the effects of inflation on its various costs such as fuel”, she underlined.

Severely affected like the entire airline sector by Covid-19, the Air France-KLM group generated a profit for the first time since the start of the health crisis in the second quarter, thanks to a clear recovery in traffic. . The group has carried out an all-out cost reduction plan, including the elimination of 8,500 positions within Air France (17% of the workforce), including 700 this year, and 5,500 at KLM.

A parallel social conflict

Air France-KLM also completed a new capital increase of 2.256 billion euros in mid-June, its two largest shareholders, the French and Dutch States, having taken part in proportion to their holdings (respectively 28.6% and 9.3%), while the shipowner CMA CGM took a 9% stake. The group’s net debt has fallen by 2.2 billion euros since the end of 2021 but remained very high at the end of June, at 6 billion.

At the same time, a social conflict over wages is likely to disrupt air transport in France. The main union of air traffic controllers has indeed filed a strike notice for Friday, accompanied by another three days at the end of September. The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) asked companies to give up 50% of their flight program on Friday.

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