More than 7,500 jobs are to be lost at Air France and low cost subsidiary HOP! despite a €7 billion French government bailout.

The French flag carrier is to slash its 41,000-strong workforce by 6,560 by the end of 2022.

HOP! will see 1,020 jobs culled from a total of 2,420 over the next three years.

The action came as Air France warned that traffic will not return to 2019 levels before 2024.

The carrier suffered a 95% slump in revenue for three months and was losing €15 million a day at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Recovery looks set to be very slow due to the uncertainties regarding the health situation, the lifting of travel restrictions and changing commercial demand,” the airline said.

“The support of the French state, in the form of guaranteed loans amounting to €7 billion, will enable the group to withstand the crisis in the short term and is accompanied by strong commitments to ensure its sustainability.

“Air France must accelerate its transformation to regain its competitiveness and strengthen its leading position in terms of sustainable transition.

“In the context of such a lasting decline in activity, the Air France Group must act with lucidity and responsibility. Its transformation is mainly based on changing its domestic business model, reorganising its support functions and continuing to reduce its external and internal costs.”

The group added: “Air France and HOP! are working together with the unions to implement plans that give priority to voluntary departures, early retirement arrangements and professional and geographical mobility.

“Solidarity within the Air France Group will also be implemented with proposals for internal job offers to all employees whose position will no longer exist and who do not wish to be included in the departure plan.”

The “reconstruction” scheme will be presented at the end of July, together with plans for the overall Air France-KLM Group.