Air France Base Set to Close at Nice Airport
Air France has announced they will close three southern bases, including Nice Côte d’Azur Airport in 2022.
Nice is one of three victims of the cuts in the south of France. The Marseille base is set to close at the end of this year, and Toulouse is also planned for a 2022 closure.
Covid has hit the tourism industry hard and the airlines are reshuffling to save their skin. Air France’s base in Nice opened in 2010, where there are currently 119 staff employed by the airline.
News of the closures was not taken well. Air France employees in Marseille have staged protests against the three bases being shut down. The employer says the closures are due to a reduction in flying - the company lost 7.1 billion euros in 2020 after flights were largely grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Air France stated that Nice ‘remains one of our top priorities’ and that there are no plans to reduce the number of flights between Paris and the Côte d’Azur.
Local politicians have defended the locally-based workers. Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, took to Twitter to call the plans a ‘serious mistake’ which ‘showed contempt for the employees and regions concerned’.
In a letter to the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, Mayor Lisnard of Cannes said that the strategy of re-centralisation to Paris and the loss of jobs in the country’s second-largest tourist region was ‘unacceptable’. He added that it was a bad sign for the relaunch of the tourism economy in the Cote d’Azur, citing that this sector of the local economy is estimated to lose 3 billion euros.
- Kimberley Mannion