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Air France denies it plans '5,000 extra job cuts'

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By Alasdair Sandford  with AFP
Air France denies it plans '5,000 extra job cuts'

Air France has denied reports that it has plans to cut a further 5,000 jobs on top of the nearly 3,000 posts it has confirmed will go.

The satirical French paper Le Canard Enchaîné and union sources claim the airline plans a second phase of cuts if the first stage is implemented.

The French prime minister, who met Air France staff during a visit to Roissy airport on Tuesday, has said that the state backs the airline’s management.

“The challenge is Air France’s survival in the end. And the government which as shareholder has a 17 percent stake is playing a full role in supporting the management and in supporting the really necessary reforms within Air France,” Manuel Valls told RTL radio (in French). “Several weeks remain before we will be forced to implement plan B from January 2016 which foresees numerous departures at Air France, not compulsory layoffs but numerous departures.”

Following Monday’s large protest against the plan, around ten staff are said to have been identified as having been involved in physical assaults on two directors.

Air France reportedly says no plan exists beyond 2017 under its confirmed restructuring plan, but that it has worked on different hypotheses, which might explain why unconfirmed figures were being quoted.

Plan B follows the breakdown of talks over pilots’ working hours.