KLM achieves historic agreement with unions


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today reached a further agreement in principle with the Dutch Air Line Pilots Association (Vereniging Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers – VNV). The agreement in principle reached with VNV will now be put before the association’s membership base.

Perform 2020

Lengthy and intense negotiations took place with a VNV delegation in recent months. VNV consistently expressed its willingness to invest in the company. KLM and VNV have now reached an agreement for the forthcoming three-year period from1 January 2015 up to and including 31 December 2017, in which the pilots’ contribution towards the employment conditions is proportionately balanced with the consideration required of KLM by VNV and will also contribute significantly towards achieving the Air France KLM Perform 2020 objectives.

The outcome

The outcome achieved through negotiation now means that pilots will give concrete shape to the annual productivity gain of 4%. The agreement also includes a concrete increase in the retirement age. Moreover, this agreement will also generate an improvement in KLM’s cash position. In return for this investment, pilots now enjoy access to shares. This will be defined further. The agreement in principle has yet to be tested against legal, fiscal and governance aspects.

“This agreement represents a significant leg of the journey towards creating a more competitive and healthy KLM. It contributes concretely towards achieving our Perform 2020 objectives. I am pleased with this agreement because all the respective parties displayed flexibility and a willingness to join forces with the KLM management board to build a new KLM.
Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO„

What are the results of negotiations with the Dutch Air Line Pilots Association (VNV)?

Holiday entitlement

From commencement of the 2016 collective labour agreement (CLA) year, all pilots will enjoy a holiday entitlement of 35 days. Holiday entitlement was first awarded on the basis of age, and varied from 34 to 38 days.

21 days leave during summer

The number of contiguous days leave during the summer period has been reduced by 1 day to 21 calendar days starting from 1 April 2016.

Transparent holiday scheme

A properly functioning offer and exchange platform will increase the transparency and predictability of the holiday scheme for pilots.

ICA: Change to travel leave days (leave scheme)

Starting from the winter schedule, travel leave in travel cycles of more than 3 travel leave days will no longer be rounded upward. For example, if a flight generates 4.2 travel leave days, this will no longer be rounded up to 5 days.

As a result (in this example), the travel leave after a flight will thus be 4.2 days instead of 5. The 0.2 travel leave day (4.2 – 4) will not be lost, as the decimal will be counted. As soon as the decimals total 1 full travel leave day, the day will be awarded to the pilot.

The current CLA agreement and method (rounding system) will remain applicable to travel cycles of 3 or fewer travel leave days.

ICA: Reduction of 4-pilot operations

Cape Town, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur have been designated as 3-pilot instead of 4-pilot destinations. Should any of these destinations no longer apply, KLM and VNV will in consultation designate another 4-pilot destination.

Note: KLM conducts ICA flights with two, three or four pilots. The number of pilots in the cockpit depends on the applicable flight time.

B737: AssignmentA B737 pilot is assigned in cycles of 28 days (16 working days, 12 leave days). This will be adjusted by structurally raising the number of working days from 16 to 17 (with 11 leave days).

KLC: Public holidays

KLC pilots will with retroactive effect from 1 January 2015 surrender 3 of the 6 public holidays provided for by the CLA.The maximum number of flight hours per 30 days and per year as stated in the CLA will be raised in order to accommodate the productivity increase resulting from this measure.

B787 classification

Pilots can vary/ mix flights* with the B787 and B777-200/300. KLM and VNV have a shared vision of the professional and technical aspects that require attention in this respect, including a logical design and the accompanying preconditions. Consultations on this will continue also after the introduction of the B787.

This has resulted in the proposal that the B787 be classified in the same manner as the B777 in terms of payment, the rules applicable to duty and rest times (WRR) as well as the position in the pilot career scheme (RVL).

Two beds and a seat for resting purposes are available in the Overhead Flight Crew Rest (OFCR) area. If a business class seat is still available on the flight day in the case of 4-pilot destinations, this seat will be made available to the 4th pilot for resting purposes.

The B787 cockpit OFCR is certified for the entire flight operation, including taxiing, takeoff and landing.

* A pilot flies/ is certified for both the B777 200/300 and the B787.


The retirement age will be raised in 4 steps from 56 to 58. This means that starting from 2016, it will be raised by six months each year until the retirement age of 58 years is reached in 2019.

Additional agreements reached on the financing of the pension scheme have released a significant amount in pension contributions, thus improving the cash position of KLM.

Counter performance KLM

Shares in AF-KLM

KLM will provide pilots with a one-off share package as compensation for the resulting productivity gains and pension concessions.

Profit-sharing scheme

The current profit-sharing scheme will be replaced by an improved profit-sharing scheme.

90% part-time

A 90% part-time variant will be added to the existing options for all WRR appendices. This offers pilots the possibility of exchanging the raised productivity for a salary reduction. The new employment percentage cannot be applied in combination with parental leave.


KLM has in this proposal committed itself to the VNV to include the same employment provision as that agreed with the ground and cabin unions. This provision states that no forced redundancies will take place on economic grounds during the CLA period as long as the existing instruments used for this purpose (including temporary increase in part-time and/or non-activity) are adequate. The parties will enter into consultations if these instruments prove to be inadequate.


The term is from 1 January 2015 up to and including 31 December 2017.

Source / Author: KLM