Coronavirus: €17.7 million from European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to support dismissed Air France workers

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Today, the European Commission proposes to support 1,580 former workers of Air France, who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with €17.7 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF). The funding will help these people find new jobs through tailored guidance and advice, develop new skills, and start their own business.

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on travel and airline workers. With €17.7 million of financial support from the European Globalisation Fund, we show solidarity with nearly 1,600 former Air France workers, helping them to find their way back into the labour market. This EU support will help them retrain and find new jobs, or to start their own business.”

France applied for EGF support to help dismissed workers at Air France, following a drop in air passengers and flights because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support to the dismissed workers includes advisory services, career guidance, job search assistance and the possibility to learn new skills through tailored vocational training. Participants can also receive advice on how to start their own business and a start-up grant of up to €15,000. The support measures also include hiring benefits, salary top-ups and quick reemployment allowances for workers.

The total estimated cost of these measures is about €21 million, of which the EGF will cover 85% (€17.7 million). Air France will finance the remaining 15%. Support to the eligible workers started in February 2021, shortly after the first layoffs. The EGF can retroactively cover these costs once the funding will have been approved by the European Parliament and the Council.


The COVID-19 pandemic forced Air France to reduce its flights due to travel restrictions in many countries. In addition, the pandemic has had a long-term impact on the air transport sector. Increasing environmental awareness, along with remote working may result in a change in customer behaviour in the long-term. The recovery of air transport is therefore expected to be slow and uncertain, with Air France expecting to reach 95% of its pre-pandemic flight offer only in 2023.

The region Île-de-France has been the most affected by the redundancies in Air France, amounting to 57% of the dismissals. Despite recent improvements, the number of registered job seekers in Île-de-France is still high, and the long–term job seekers represent nearly half of all job seekers in the region. Therefore, the French authorities expect that the workers impacted by the Air France restructuring will be in need of personalised support to find new jobs.

Under the new EGF regulation 2021-2027, the Fund continues to support displaced workers and self-employed people who have lost their activity. With the new rules, EGF support becomes more easily available for people affected by restructuring: all types of unexpected major restructuring events can be eligible for support, including the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation. Member States can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period.

In March 2022, the European Parliament and the Council approved a Commission proposal to support 473 former workers of vending machine company Selecta in France with €4 million from the EGF. This followed the approval in February of a Commission proposal to support 297 dismissed Airbus workers in France due to the pandemic with €3.7 million from the EGF.

Overall, since 2007, the EGF has made available €668 million in 173 cases, offering help to more than 166,000 people in 20 Member States. EGF-supported measures add to national active labour market measures.

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