Spanair begins union talks after detailing rescue plan

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SAS Group’s Spanair operation is to begin negotiations with unions after laying out a rescue plan which aims to save €90 million over 2009, but which confirms the withdrawal of 15 aircraft by November and the axing of nine routes.

Some 1,060 personnel from Spanair and 130 from Fuerza de Ventas, the sales joint venture between Spanair and SAS Group, could be affected by job cuts across the equivalent of 954 full-time positions.

The Palma de Mallorca-based airline presented the rescue plan today to its employee representatives as well as the country’s ministry of labour, signalling the beginning of a 30-day negotiation period. Spanair says the measures, which will amount to a 24% cut in capacity, are designed to secure 3,000 jobs at the carrier.

“This plan is the company’s response to the crisis that affects the whole airline industry as a consequence of the continuous increase in fuel price, the decrease in demand due to the economic slowdown in the Spanish market, and the excess of capacity,” it adds.

Spanair’s plan will consolidate its seven bases into two, located at Madrid and Barcelona, in order to simplify its operations and reduce costs. The carrier has previously said it would cut six routes from Madrid, two from Biblao and one from Barcelona.