Tuesday, January 1, 2013

■ TUNISIA: Tunisair to axe 1'700 jobs, dramatically grow Africa network as part of plans to return to profitability.

TunisairRabah Jrad, the CEO of Tunisian national carrier Tunisair (TU), has said the airline intends to reduce its workforce of 8'500 employees by 1'700 workers between 2013 and 2014, as part of a restructuring plan to help reduce its bloated payroll, following a USD98.3million (EUR77.2million) loss for 2011.

During a press conference on Friday 28 December 2012 held at the Tunis Stock Exchange, Jrad stated that Tunisair had put in place a variety of measures to ensure the company remained viable, but that redundancies would be necessary.
"1700 of the group's employees will be dismissed during the period 2013-2014, to reduce labor costs", said Rabah Jrad. In addition, the CEO stated that "Tunisair would not replace the 329 officers who retire during this period and would also refrain from hiring new employees." New hires will only take place in case of absolute necessity, but only in the context of employment contracts of fixed duration.
Source [aeronautique.ma]

Tunisair's Route Network
Tunisair's Route Network (Tunisair)
Overall, the layoffs would help save Tunisair over the next 3 years despite the airline having regained some positivity in 2012, with no less than 3.8 million passengers being flown, with an average of 100 flights per day said Jrad.

Amongst other measures, Jrad discussed increasing Tunisair African flights with the aim of serving 20 African destinations in 2016, against just 4 now. Beginning 2013, the company will commence flights to the Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso. In addition, there is also talk of increasing the frequency of scheduled flights to the airline's traditional markets as well as the reintegration of subsidiaries such as Tunisair, Tunisair Technics and Handling into the parent company.

Jrad did not exclude the possibility of involving a new "strategic partner" in Tunisair though any such move, aside from the redundancies, have yet to receive the green light from Tunisair's powerful trade unions.