Air France’s pilot union has informed airline management about planned strike that would cover period June 11 – 14, 2016.
The reason for this period is that it would have the maximum impact for those that are traveling to France for the start of the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer championship.
You can access Air France’s web page for the announcement here.
Air France is allowing travelers that are scheduled to fly on Air France on affected dates to move their travel up to June 6 – 10 or travel later June 15 – 21. Air France is also allowing passengers to get a non-refundable voucher valid for one year on Air France, KLM or Hop! If they no longer wish to travel.
Dutch newspaper NLTimes reports the following (access the article here):
KLM CEO Pieter Elbers is concerned that the strike Air France pilots have planned for Saturday, one day after the start of the European Championships in France, will lead to reputation damage that will also effect the Dutch airline. In a message to the KLM staff, he called it a “destructive strike”, NOS reports.
Elbers reassures the staff that the financial loss caused by the strike will completely be carried by Air France, even thought the French and Dutch airlines are part of the same group. But he is worried about KLM’s reputation.
“Air France is, like KLM, working with all employees to take steps on the road of recovery. The first results of this are just visible”, he said, implying that a strike now is very inconvenient. The CEO hopes that Air France and the pilots can reach an agreement before Saturday.
Financial Times also reports about this issue (access the piece here):
Philippe Evain, head of the SNPL, France’s biggest pilots union, told Le Monde newspaper last week that attempts to negotiate with management had failed. “We have been in disagreement for 18 months with a management that has favoured investment in KLM and Holland rather than France,” he was quoted as saying.
Mr de Juniac has warned in the past that Air France will become a second-tier carrier unless it tackles its costs, which are among the highest in the industry. However, restructuring has been hindered by the French state’s 17 per cent shareholding, which politicises job losses.
Here’s the announcement from Air France:
A call for strike action has been issued by several airline pilot unions, for the period from 11 to 14 June 2016.
Air France continues to favour social dialogue to find compromise solutions. It is too early to have a clear view of the outcome of these talks and the consequences of this strike action on our flight schedule.
As soon as we will have a more accurate estimate of the number of employees on strike and the impact on our operations, our flight schedule will be adapted accordingly and published the day before your departure.
Before going to the airport, we advise you to check flight information updated in real-time on our website, in the “Flight and airport info” section.
In the meantime, we would like to assure you that our teams are fully mobilized and will do their utmost to assist you and minimize the impact of this industrial action on your travel plans.
Nevertheless, without waiting, if you are travelling on a flight operated by Air France, we propose you to anticipate or postpone your departure to avoid the period from 11 to 14 June 2016 if you have the opportunity.
– You may anticipate your trip from June 6 to June 10, 2016 included, or postpone your trip from June 15 to June 21, 2016 included, at no extra cost in the same ticketed cabin.
You can make these changes on this website*, in the “Your reservations” section, on our mobile sites or from your travel agent.
– To postpone your trip beyond June 21, 2016, to change your origin or destination or if you no longer wish to travel, you can receive of a non-refundable voucher valid one year on Air France, KLM or Hop!
In this cas, you may contact your travel agent.
How to stay informed?
To be notified personally by text message or e-mail, we invite you to update your contact information (phone and / or e-mail) in your reservation file on our website.
We sincerely hope that your flight will operate as scheduled and apologize for any inconvenience this strike action may cause you.
I would say that it is likely that the strike action will be called off due to the situation with the soccer cup starting and the French government’s meddling with businesses.
This is a great opportunity for those that have purchased tickets to travel during the affected period to amend their travel plans or get a voucher that can be used later.
The French unions have been very vocal and sometimes borderline violent when dealing with the Air France management. Zero sympathy from me.