Paris (AFP)

The pilots of the airline company Air France and its low-cost subsidiary Transavia have seen their salaries decrease significantly since April, "efforts made necessary" by the Covid-19 crisis, the SNPL union estimated on Monday.

"The airline pilots of Air France and Transavia France have known since April 2020 a drop in their remuneration from 25% to 40%, compared to their pre-crisis salary", affirms the SNPL Air France-Transavia (AF-TO) in a press release.

"Unlike pilots from competing companies, who have a fixed salary, the remuneration system for Air France and Transavia France pilots is strongly linked to real activity," he said.

Their remuneration is partly linked to the hours flown. However, as for the rest of the aviation sector, the activity of the Air France group was almost non-existent in April and May and only picked up very gradually.

This reduction in remuneration "should allow Air France a saving of around 300 million euros per year throughout the global crisis linked to Covid-19 and thus help it, in part, to overcome its financial difficulties. ", estimates the union of pilots, majority at Air France.

The SNPL Air France-Transavia also recalls that "in order to further reduce the wage bill and curb the overstaffing of pilots, the management of Air France and the SNPL AF-TO concluded in a few weeks an agreement of collective termination (RCC ) aimed at allowing the early departure of company pilots ".

This agreement provides that around 400 pilots, or nearly 10% of the pilot workforce, "will leave Air France permanently at the end of August", on a voluntary basis.

"With these salary cuts and the adjustment of the workforce, Air France and Transavia France airline pilots are fully participating in the efforts made necessary by this exceptional and lasting crisis that we are going through", underlines Guillaume Gestas, president of the union, cited in the press release.

At competitor British Airways (BA), the Balpa categorical union announced on August 1 that the pilots had approved a plan providing for temporary wage cuts of 20% to limit the number of redundancies to 270. The company, which employs 4,300 pilots, initially planned to lay off 1,255 of them and lay off and then rehire the others on less favorable terms.

Air France management intends to cut 7,580 jobs by the end of 2022 within the French company and the regional subsidiary Hop !. It expects natural departures not replaced and voluntary departures, but forced departures are not excluded for short-haul.

© 2020 AFP