On October 19th, KLM reopened a voluntary resignation scheme (Vrijwillige Vertrekregeling 2020) presented to specific divisions and departments in order to reduce involuntary dismissals. The aim is to cut the overhead that the airline is currently experiencing due to the drop in air travel demand. At this point, the airline is in better conditions to plan a potential downsize and how to further simplify its organisation.
At the end of July, KLM announced that it would reduce its staff by 5,000 people. The Dutch airline has already downsized by way of various measures, including non-renewal of short-term contracts (1,500 jobs) and a voluntary resignation scheme (2,000 jobs).
The target to shed 5,000 jobs was based on a 20% reduction in the airline’s Summer 2021 schedule, but the figures have deviated from what the executives expected: KLM’s winter schedule will be a lot more restricted than it was in the same period last year. One example of those changes is that the European network in November will be at around 50% of capacity compared to the same period in 2019.
KLM is anticipating a similar outlook for the months to come. This will have a direct impact on the amount of employees the airline will need in (Summer) 2021. A further 10% reduction in flights would represent 1,500 fewer jobs.