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Pandemic-hit Dutch airline KLM announces massive layoffs

Pandemic-stricken Dutch airline KLM on Friday announced that it would cut 4,500 to 5,000 positions.

"KLM is in the throes of a crisis of unprecedented magnitude," the Dutch airline stated in a press release. " Expectations are that the road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty. This means that KLM's structure and size must be rigorously adjusted even further in the years ahead."

As part of the measures, a total of 4,500 to 5,000 positions in the entire KLM Group, part of Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM, will cease to exist.

This means that the workforce will be reduced to around 28,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in the course of 2021 from the current 33,000 FTEs.

At the end of June, the Dutch government presented an aid package of 3.4 billion euros (3.8 billion U.S. dollars) for KLM to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. One of the conditions for the financial support was that KLM would take measures for a cost reduction.

"A great deal has already been done in recent months with respect to adjusting the size of our company in the face of a new reality," KLM's CEO Pieter Elbers stated. "Unfortunately, more measures are needed in the short term to guarantee KLM's continued existence in the future." 

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