In September 2014, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo announced it would be reducing the amount of freighter capacity it needs in its network. Both KLM and Martinair Cargo have discussed the consequences of this decision with the works councils. The decision to scale back the full-freighter fleet has been taken to restore the division’s financial health. The decision will affect more than 330 employees.
Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo has decided on a business model which requires less freighter capacity, rather than a model with no freighters at all. Consequently, as an operating carrier within the KLM Group, Martinair Cargo will scale back its fleet and use just one type of aircraft (Boeing 747). This decision affects around 170 ground staff FTEs in the Netherlands, 50 FTEs abroad and 110 cockpit FTEs.
The company will do its utmost to reassign ground staff within the KLM Group using existing instruments, the scope of which may be extended to include voluntary redundancy. This will take place in close consultation with the unions and will only apply to employees working in areas where a staff surplus arises.
A number of voluntary measures have recently been rolled out for pilots at Martinair Cargo. Reassignment options within the group have been explored over the last few months and a number of pilots have taken the step to join Transavia. Recent changes in the financial conditions mean KLM is unable to offer pilots the same salaries they were receiving at Martinair. With KLM’s help, Martinair will continue to make every effort to find solutions for the pilots outside the KLM group. Negotiations between Martinair Cargo and the unions are ongoing and are based on the existing collective labour agreement (CLA). However, the possibility of compulsory redundancies cannot be excluded. Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo deeply regrets the social consequences of these changes, but the reduction is unavoidable if the cargo business is to be restored to good health.
From 2016, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo will continue to operate with a mainframe fleet of six Full Freighters (two Boeing 777Fs at Paris Charles De Gaulle and four Boeing 747-400s at Amsterdam Schiphol), supplemented by 15 Boeing 747 Combi’s. Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo is convinced that the remaining flexible freighters will continue to provide its clients with a full range of solutions to meet their needs. The freighter network at Schiphol will concentrate on Africa and North, Central and South America and will, of course, continue to serve important markets, such as the flower sector. The company will also continue to invest in Cargo (Express, Pharma, e-commerce).
Cargo remains a core business for the Air France-KLM Group. It generates income of EUR 2.5 billion per year and contributes around EUR 1 billion a year to the passenger network. It goes without saying that pulling out of the cargo business is out of the question.
Marcel de Nooijer: “Taking a step like this has an enormous impact on the organisations of both KLM and Martinair. Various scenarios were explored, which turned out to be inadequate for tackling exploitation and losses. We deeply regret the social consequences, but these steps are unavoidable if the cargo business is to have a durable future. This is why we have been in talks with the Works Council over the last few months and have taken a lot of time to investigate a range of scenarios. The decision to adjust the cargo fleet has been taken after very careful consideration.“