Air France Pilot Strike Continues For The Second Week

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Air France pilots started a strike week ago on Monday to protest the Air France’s plan to move most of its non-hub short-haul flying to its Transavia brand (read more here).

Air France Strike Second Week BBC

Air France pilots has voted again today to continue the strike for the second week that has lead to daily flight cancellations of around 60%.

You can read more about this on BBC’s website here and on WSJ here.

Here’s an excerpt from WSJ:

The airline group wants to compete more aggressively with low-cost rivals such aseasyJet EZJ.LN -2.40% PLC by opening bases outside France, staffed with local personal hired under local labor rules. Air France-KLM says it would be impossible to build up a powerful no-frills airline at Air France costs.

Cockpit crews—who have a say in the number of aircraft Transavia-France can operate, currently capped at 14—disagree. They say all company pilots should be part of a single pool and benefit from all the perks Air France employees have gained over time.

In a bid to end one of the worst traffic-crippling strikes at Air France since 1998, management proposed on Monday to freeze the plan to expand Transavia outside France for three months, while pursuing talks with pilots. Presenting the concession package as an “ultimate” step, Air France-KLM Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac also proposed fast-tracking the development of Transavia-France, increasing its fleet to 37 planes from 14.

Here’s more from BBC:

Air France pilots say they will pursue their strike indefinitely, rejecting the airline’s offer to attempt to resolve the dispute.

Air France offered to suspend plans to expand its budget carrier Transavia.

But the pilots’ SNPL union described that move as a “smokescreen” that offered no more guarantees than previous offers.

Air France’s chief executive Alexandre de Juniac warned the strike could have “catastrophic consequences”.

The eight-day-old strike is the airline’s longest since 1998 and has been costing 15m euros (£11.8m; $19.3m) a day.

Jean-Louis Barber, head of the Air France section of the SNPL union said: “As long as management does not change its philosophy and as long as Air France management will not conduct real talks in a cooperative spirit to counter low-cost (airlines), Air France pilots will be on strike.”

Conclusion

So, the Air France pilots are now on an infinite strike that is costing the airline more than $20 million per day.

Remember that the EC 261/2004 duty to care applies even when the airline’s employees are striking. You can request Air France to move you to other airlines at their expense and provide hotels/meals in case of extended delays. It is also your option to get a full refund.

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