Alitalia seeking to cut staff by 1,900

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Alitalia is looking to cut its 15,000-strong staff by 1,900 under a new industrial plan it says will save €128 million ($174 million) over two-and-a-half years.

Under the plan, 280 pilots, 350 cabin crew, 480 airport workers, 190 ground staff and 600 other employees would leave Alitalia. They would continue to receive a minimum wage from the Italian government for two years while they sought alternative employment.

Only if the airline’s financial situation improved dramatically over the next two years would they be taken back.

The struggling Italian carrier, which made a €280 million loss in 2012, says it will consult staff on taking earlier retirement to reach its target.

Alitalia’s chief executive Gabriele Del Torchio revealed the plans to unions today. Neither they nor the Italian government have so far agreed to endorse it.