Alitalia plans widespread staff cuts

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Alitalia appears to be on a collision course with employee trade unions after management presented their "industrial plan" for the loss-making airline for 2013 and beyond, with the proposal including an unspecified number of redundancies.

Confirming that the first round of talks took place on 16 October and included references to job cuts, a spokesman for the Italian flag carrier declined to specify how many lay-offs are planned.

However, Italian news agency Ansa reports that 690 staff - comprising 300 flight attendants, 300 ground staff and 90 maintenance workers - will be cut, as the carrier attempts to make annual savings of around €30 million ($39.1 million).

A further round of talks will take place next week, the spokesman confirms.

In 2011, Alitalia recorded a net loss of €69 million. The airline will report its third quarter earnings on 25 October.