New Air France boss to unveil cost cuts Wed - paper

PARIS, Sept 16 Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:54am EDT

PARIS, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The new chief executive of Air France-KLM will unveil on Wednesday a cost-cutting plan including staff reductions of around 2,600-3,000, according to Les Echos newspaper.

CEO Frederic Gagey is also expected to announce the phasing out of Boeing's 747 by 2016, starting with cargo planes, the paper said without citing sources. The staff cuts will be carried out via a voluntary departure scheme.

With sales weaker than expected this year, Air France has not been able to reach its goal of identifying 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) in cost cuts, leaving 400 million euros to trim by the end of next year.

Air France-KLM is in the midst of a turnaround drive to help it cope with stiff competition from low-cost carriers and Gulf operators. It has already renegotiated pay and conditions with airline staff, cutting 5,122 jobs and restructuring its network to cope with higher fuel costs and a worsening cargo business.

A spokeswoman for Air France declined to comment.

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