The new operation, which is being created under the interim name Boost, will include new A350s from 2019, but initial long-haul services from summer 2018 will operate the older four-engined type.
Prior to that, medium-haul services will begin in autumn 2017 using A320-family aircraft.
The French flag carrier has previously said the Boost fleet will not exceed 18 medium- and 10 long-haul aircraft.
The company has presented a draft agreement to two pilots’ unions, SNPL and SPAF, detailing terms and conditions for flight-deck crew. The carrier said it hopes to have unions sign the deal by Feb. 24, but this date could be stretched if the unions decide to consult their members.
Boost is planned to have a lower cost structure than mainline Air France and to operate particularly on loss-making routes where the airline is under heavy pressure from Gulf carriers.
The airline said Boost’s pilots will be Air France personnel, but that “productivity and efficiency improvement measures, defined by the negotiations, will ensure Boost’s pilot cost savings and will also contribute to Air France’s competitiveness.”
The draft agreement that has gone to the unions for approval also contains details of a profit-sharing scheme. This will be offered to all Air France personnel and will be determined by the company’s financial results.
“This draft agreement is a balanced compromise that reflects the constructive spirit in which we have conducted these negotiations. It must enable us to build the future of Air France, with the pilots and all company staff, on the basis of a solid project of growth and recovery,” Air France CEO Franck Terner said in a statement.
(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)