Two cash-strapped French airlines, AOM and Air Liberté, have announced they are cutting 1,328 jobs - one fifth of the workforce - in a bid to stem financial losses.This content was published on May 21, 2001 - 22:21
Announcing the job cuts, Marc Rochet, chief executive of AOM/Air Liberté, which is jointly controlled by the Swissair Group and France's Marine Wendel, said the company was in a "precarious and delicate economic situation".
The airline operator recently declared a net loss of FFr2.4 billion (SFr560 million) for 2000. The company has faced tough competition from rival Air France and a growing network of high-speed TGV trains on many of its routes.
AOM/Air Liberté said it hoped the measures would return the company to profitability within three years, turning a predicted FFr220 million (SFr51 million) loss in 2002 to a FFr20 million (Sfr4.7 million) profit in 2004.
The restructuring move was widely expected after the Swissair Group announced last month that it was pulling out of the French airlines.
The Swissair Group said it was willing to assist with the restructuring deal as long as three conditions were met by June 30 at the latest.
Spokesman Jean-Claude Donzel said the total costs should not exceed FFr3 billion (SFr700 million) and that a financial partner should be found "who can secure the continuity of the (French) airline".
The third condition was that Swissair could give up its stake in AOM/Air Liberté without any further financial obligation.
swissinfo with agencies
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