KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM has announced that it would be cutting around 5,000 full-time positions through the end 2021 due to coronavirus-led crisis of unprecedented magnitude.
According to reports, some 1,500 temporary contracts will not be renewed. In addition, other 2,000 jobs will go through a voluntary redundancy scheme. However, around 1,500 employees, including ground force, cabin and cockpit crew, and administrative workers will lose their jobs.
As part of the measures, a total of 4,500 to 5,000 positions in the entire KLM Group, part of Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM, will cease to exist.
This means that the workforce will be reduced to around 28,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in the course of 2021 from the current 33,000 FTEs.
At the end of June, the Dutch government presented an aid package of 3.4 billion euros ($3.8 billion) for KLM to overcome the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.
One of the conditions for the financial support was that KLM would take measures for a cost reduction.
“A great deal has already been done in recent months with respect to adjusting the size of our company in the face of a new reality,” KLM CEO Pieter Elbers stated.
“Unfortunately, more measures are needed in the short term to guarantee KLM’s continued existence in the future.”
When do you think the aviation industry will regain its previous status? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
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Malaysia Airlines Operates More Than 200 Rescue and Repatriation Flights During RMCO, CMCO
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) has succesfully conducted and still continuing its rescue and repatriation mission, transporting stranded citizens back to their home countries during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) in the country, as well as Conditional MCO in certain states.
To date, the airline has successfully operated 218 rescue and repatriation flights through scheduled and chartered services since March 2020, utilising its A380, A350, A330 and B737 aircrafts.
Adapting to Challenges
According to BERNAMA, the current situation has brought upon opportunities for the national carrier to fly to new cities outside its usual network, which include international destinations across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and even Africa such as Cam Rahn, South Sudan, Cairo, Turkmenbashi, Turkmenabat , Dili, Nadi, and Port Moresby where few commercial flights are available.
Group Chief Operations Officer, Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi said out of the 218 flights, 168 were charter services through strategic collaboration with government ministries and individual organisations.
So far, the airline has flown over 20,000 passengers safely back to their loved ones.
It has been a challenging yet exciting experience for us to operate in these new markets under the current circumstances, due to the ever-changing health and safety requirements, as well as strict border controls by the respective countries.
However, active engagements with the respective embassies, ministries, government agencies, organisations and regulatory bodies have made it possible,” he said in a statement today.
There was a positivity a few months ago with Malaysia opening up for domestic operations. However, with scheduled international passenger services are still suspended, the airline is trying to adapt the current situations and challenges. The carrier is facing trouble amid the pandemic, and it is continuing discussions with creditors about its ongoing restructuring process.
Encouraging Cargo Trend
Over the same period, the airlines’ sister company, MAB Kargo Sdn Bhd has worked closely with governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to transport over 2,000 tonnes of medical equipment and disaster-relief provisions to impacted regions around the globe.
“This includes ventilators, surgical gloves, sterile isolation gowns and protection suits with goggles for various organisations via over 50 passenger-to-cargo (P2C) and cargo-in-cabin (CIC) flights. The CIC allows the airline to carry cargo on seats, overhead stowage compartments, closets and under the seats depending on the size of the boxes,” it added.
It said the MAB Kargo team toiled hard to ensure all shipments are delivered according to schedule, resulting in the gradual improvement of the company’s export throughput numbers.
The encouraging trend has eventually increased the numbers whereby the export throughput figures in August 2020 have now matched pre-COVID-19 level, contributed by the reopening of more economic sectors and the usage of P2C flights to compensate the loss of belly capacity.
Ahmad Luqman said the demand for medical equipment worldwide has kept its aircraft flying and the cargo terminals busy.
Our freighter schedules are adjusted to meet customers’ requirements. Despite lesser flights in the network, we continue to support the value-chain of day-to-day business and ensure minimal disruptions, he said.
Malaysia is still under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) and Conditional MCO in individual states. Subsequently, the nation’s borders remain closed to foreigners, and citizens are unable to leave amid the global health crisis.
Despite its troubles & the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia Airlines pledged to do its best to serve passengers across the globe. It will nonetheless be hoping that current conditions will be improving over the next few months.
Air Canada Adding Doha To Its Route Network With A Boeing 787-9
While we’ve seen many Middle Eastern carriers offering direct non-stop services to North America, it’s much more rare to see it happen the other way around. But it looks like from December 2020, Air Canada will be operating service to Doha, Qatar using its flagship Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
What we know about this route so far
According to Routesonline, Canada’s largest airline will launch service from Toronto Pearson International (YYZ) to Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH). This service will begin in mid-December – just over a month and a half away from now.
The flight details are as follows:
- AC058: The outbound flight will depart Toronto at 20:10 local time and arrive in Doha at 16:40 (local) the next day.
- AC059: The return journey will depart Doha at 08:40 local and arrive in Toronto at 15:05 (local) the same day.
Flying this route will be the airline’s 787-9, which offers 30 business class seats, 21 seats for premium economy service, and 247 in economy class.
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Why haven’t we heard anything from the airline yet?
Interestingly, we haven’t seen a press release from Air Canada yet, as new services like this would normally be accompanied by. However, Routesonline suggests that this service is pending government approval – which may indeed be the reason.
Alternately, rather than the news coming out over the weekend, it will be announced first thing Monday morning in a Canadian time zone.
Regardless of the ‘why,’ we can confirm that reservations are now available, as is witnessed by the screen capture below:
Competing with Qatar Airways
The service indirectly competes with Qatar Airways in terms of a direct flight to Qatar. Currently, the Middle Eastern carrier flies direct to Montreal from its Doha hub using the A350-1000. However, when it comes to offering direct flights to Doha, it’s just these two.
You wouldn’t expect this route to do well given how small of a country Qatar is. It’s not a huge destination, even in the best of times. However, when using Toronto as a gateway to North America and Doha as a gateway to other Middle East destinations, this route could be successful.
While the two airlines are part of different alliances, we’ve already seen them offer flights with one another as part of various itineraries.
Using Doha to Vancouver as an example, Qatar Airways has flown passengers to Montreal while Air Canada carries them on the Montreal-Vancouver sector. If we look at Toronto to Kuwait, Air Canada takes passengers to Doha, and Qatar Airways will take them from Doha to Kuwait.
Do you have any interest in this new Air Canada route? Let us know in the comments.
Simple Flying contacted Air Canada regarding this new service but did not receive a response at the time of publication. Flight information was obtained from RoutesOnline.com
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