AF-KLM sets June deadline to reveal recovery plan

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Air France-KLM hopes to avoid a lengthy wait before it can implement the main part of its Transform 2015 recovery plan by concluding negotiations with its unions over collective workforce agreements prior to announcing the politically sensitive measures.

Speaking at the airline group's 2011 results briefing on 8 March, chief executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta says the central tranche of the plan will now be unveiled in June.

The reason for the delay is to allow the union negotiations to conclude, he explains. According to French labour law, if Air France was to impose new terms and conditions on its employees, it would be required to wait a period of 15 months before they would take effect.

Talks with the unions will begin this month, says Spinetta. "We remain confident that an agreement will be reached," he adds.

A June announcement would also delay implementation of any politically unsavoury proposals contained in the Transform 2015 plan, such as staff redundancies, until after the French general election finishes in May.

The first stage of the plan, which consisted of measures such as a pay freeze in 2012 and 2013 at Air France and a policy of wage moderation at KLM, was announced in January.