Saturday, May 8, 2021

EU Commission Wants to Allocate €6.8 Million to 1,700 KLM & Finnair Workers Fired Amid COVID-19

The European Commission has put forward a proposal to support 1,200 dismissed workers of KLM in the Netherlands and 500 dismissed workers of Finnair in Finland, who lost their jobs due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on passenger air transport.

In a press release issued by the Commission, it was pointed out that the proposed amount of €6.8 million by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) would provide support to all those who lost their jobs by enabling them to pursue further education, training as well as start their own business.

The Netherlands and Finland applied separately for the EGF support to help the dismissed workers of KLM and Finnair, reports.

“As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of passenger flights worldwide dropped dramatically. With a total of €6.8 million of financial support from the EGF proposed today, we show solidarity to 1,700 former workers of KLM and Finnair in the air transport sector. This support will help these people to retrain and find new jobs,” Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said.

According to the Commission, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the aviation industry due to travel restrictions worldwide and the drastic decline of passengers.

The EU Commission measure regarding the KLM and Finnair dismissed workers, co-financed by the EGF, include:

  • Advice and vocational orientation
  • Professional training
  • Hiring benefits
  • Support to start a business

Furthermore, the participants may also receive travel, accommodation allowances to cover the expenses incurred during training and job-seeking.

The total estimated cost of the allocated aid for former workers of Finnair in Finland is €2.9 million, of which the EGF will provide €1.8 million. Whereas the estimated cost of the assistance measure for former workers in the Netherlands is €8.4 million, of which the EGF will provide €5 million.

The remaining amount for the KLM workers will be financed by the company, and in the case of dismissed workers of Finnair, it will be funded by Finnish authorities.

However, the Commission’s proposals need to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council for the recommendation to be fully effective.

Based on the International Air Transport Association figures, international passenger demand decreased by 75.6 per cent in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic data of 2019.

Only in 2020, the revenues of Finnair fell by 73.2 per cent to €829.2 million, while the revenues of KLM fell by 53.8 per cent to €5,120 million compared to 2019.

Until now, the EGF fund has received 169 applications, of which €4.5 million were already proposed to be allocated to dismissed Estonian employees and another €3.7 million to Belgian workers fired due to the COVID-19 situation.

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