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Air France to cut more than 5,000 jobs

PARIS — Air France-KLM Group, Europe’s largest carrier, plans to eliminate more than 5,000 jobs from its French workforce. The cuts, equivalent to 10 percent of posts at the Air France unit, will be achieved by the end of 2013 through voluntary departures and attrition, the company said Thursday. Jean-Cyril Spinetta, recalled as chief executive officer last year after a profit drop forced the exit of Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, said in January he’s seeking a deal to deliver more than $2.5 billion in annual savings that he believes are needed to secure the long-term future.

‘‘Our business plan has two ambitions: to ensure Air France returns to profitability, and to better serve our customers,’’ said Air France chief executive Alexandre de Juniac. “If we all make the necessary equitably distributed efforts, there will be no forced departures.’’

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De Juniac said he aims to have the agreements signed during coming days. Should workers reject the plan, current labor accords would be compromised, resulting in forced departures, Air France said.

Air France is also revamping its airline operations to help boost their competitiveness.

Regional operators Brit Air, Regional, and Airlinair, which serve smaller cities, will become a single unit, while a leisure arm will be established around discount division Transavia, and Air France’s short-haul brand will introduce a no-frills class, the company said May 24.

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