Air France Strike Cancels 25% of Flights, Threatens CEO's Job
Air France yet again canceled a quarter of its total flights on Monday and Tuesday as the airline continues to deal with employee strikes that have rocked the carrier all spring and has cost it about $270 million.
Monday marked the 10th day of the strike, which began in February and has been unfolding in multi-day spurts since then. Roughly 28% of Air France pilots are expected to participate in Monday and Tuesday's strike over staff pay disputes, and about 20% of flight attendants will take part as well.
The airline said 65% of long-haul and medium-haul flights will still depart Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), and 85% of short-haul flights are set to take off from Paris Orly (ORY) and additional regional airports. Customers with flights canceled or delayed more than five hours can obtain a refund, and Air France is offering rebooking at no extra cost.
Among the staff's demonstrations and flight schedule disruptions, Air France KLM's stock fell Monday morning, with shares dropping 1.4% in early trading. The airline's shares had previously fell 4% late Friday. The airline said its latest offer in negotiations — a 7% pay increase over four years — did not get enough signatures approving it by the deadline on Friday.
Now, Air France is entering a new consultation period. Beginning on April 26 and spanning into early May, airline executives are asking all Air France staff to fill out an electronic survey with their opinions of the deal that was submitted on April 16. Air France KLM Group CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac said if the negotiations fail, it would be difficult for him to stay at the airline's helm.
“I cannot see how I could stay at the head of the company,”Janaillac said at a press conference last Friday.