MIAMI – The Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV) and KLM (KL) have reached an agreement over wage cuts for Pilots. The deal is expected to last until 2025 and was one of the conditions for a multi-billion Euro government bailout which can now move forward.
Negotiations seemed to reach a standstill over the weekend, and Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra put pressure on the parties to find an agreement.
“I find it very disappointing, but this way we cannot move forward with the loan now,” said Hoekstra on Saturday. This weekend, the Dutch government announced that they would not move forward with the bailout until the parties came to a deal.
The €3.4bn (US$3.96bn) package will consist of a €1.0bn loan and an R€2.4bn in guarantees for bank loans. The deal has now been given the green light and will be finalized, according to Hoekstra. “It’s good that this hurdle has been cleared”, he said.
The VNV joins seven other airline-related labor unions in a commitment to reduce wages for as long as KL is receiving government financial aid.
On the heels of another worrying financial report, it was believed KL would go bankrupt in less than a year without government intervention. The Dutch flag carrier announced on Friday that they had made a net loss of EUR€1.67bn in the Q3 alone.
However, the loan will breathe new life into the 101-year-old airline.
“We can now look forward and outward, rebuild our route network for our customers and continue to connect the world with and via the Netherlands”, said KL CEO Pieter Elbers in a statement late Tuesday. “Together, we will honour the trust that the Dutch government has placed in us”.
Featured Image: Closeup of a KLM Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. PHOTO: Kochan Kleps/Airways