As an expression of EU solidarity, the European Commission stepped in after a call from the French government and has culled together €9.8 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help former workers of Air France find new jobs, said the airline.

After the EU’s market share in air transport fell during the 2008-2015 period due to the bloc’s lower growth in global air traffic, European companies and their hubs have faced mass redundancies, especially in the France’s Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, where the number of airline redundancies stands at76.2% and 11.7% respectively.

After 1,858 Air France workers were let go, Paris asked Brussels for support. the aid package will co-finance measures that will help provide them with active career guidance, vocational training, as well as job-search and mobility allowances.

Running for two years, EGF’s projects can be mobilized by member states where over 500 workers dismissed by a single company (including its suppliers and downstream producers), or if a large number of workers are laid off in a particular sector in one or more neighbouring regions. The EGF’s funding capacity within 2014-2020 has a maximum annual budget of €150 million and can fund up to 60% of the cost of projects designed to help workers who have been made redundant find another job or set up their own business.

The Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen explained that the air transport sector is currently going through major structural changes as a consequence of changing global trade patterns and that the EGF “supports workers who experience hardship in this difficult transition, to adapt their skills and find new jobs This is a concrete expression of European solidarity.”