KLM received approval last week from the Dutch ministry of social affairs to implement short working hours for around half its 14,000 staff. Workers will have their hours cut by up to 30%. The airline has slashed fares on some European routes and reduced by 15% the number of seat kilometres for its winter schedule. The cuts come as KLM denies that it has resumed merger talks with British Airways, saying that it would be "inappropriate" to enter permanent alliance talks until the future shape of air transport is better known. BA is, however, "definitely one of a number of carriers" with which KLM has held negotiations for short-term tie-ups, says KLM. The Dutch flag carrier, meanwhile, has signed a six-month alliance with Continental Airlines under which KLM will codeshare on Continental's US domestic flights from 1 December, subject to regulatory approval.

Source: Flight International