Air France-KLM boss right to tackle subject of jobs: minister

PARIS (Reuters) – Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) Chief Executive Ben Smith is right to tackle the subject of jobs at the struggling airline, said French government minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari on Thursday, as trade unions brace for possible cuts.

Air France has scheduled a strategic workforce planning meeting in June to discuss capacity cuts and their consequences for staffing, Smith told Reuters in an interview.

“I believe that Ben Smith is right to put forward this topic, with full transparency and clarity, with the unions,” junior transport minister Djebbari told France 2 television.

The French state owns around 14% of Air France KLM, which on Thursday posted an 815 million euro ($879.6 million) first-quarter operating loss.