Corsair unions agree to restructuring programme

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French carrier Corsair's employees have finalised agreements on a restructuring programme which will include replacing three Boeing 747s with a pair of Airbus A330s.

Corsair will also cut around 25% of its personnel, freeze salaries for three years and operate with a reduced composition of cabin crew.

Tour operator TUI Travel, to which Corsair is affiliated, disclosed the agreement as it posted an 11% rise in full-year operating profit to £447 million ($698 million).

TUI says it expects the Corsair changes are "an important milestone towards making the airline viable".

The restructuring will enable the carrier to break even, at least, says TUI. Benefits of the scheme will become evident in 2012 and appear fully in 2013.

TUI says "constructive and positive" discussions have cleared the way to implementing the programme.

"Employees have demonstrated strong support for the airline and a great willingness to deliver a successful turnaround," states TUI.

"Social plans have been signed with the required employee representatives."

Aside from the fleet change which aims to "optimise" capacity and route planning, TUI says the cabins on its aircraft will be reconfigured and updated to provide a "significantly-improved on-board experience" for passengers.