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One in four Air France flights to be cancelled Tuesday due to strike

The Local, Apr 9

Air France said hundreds of its flights would be cancelled on Tuesday as pilots, cabin crew and ground staff pursue a sixth day of strikes aimed at securing higher pay.

The walkout has affected international and domestic travel, with a quarter of all flights set to be cancelled on Tuesday.

Only 65 percent of long-haul flights to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle will run normally, with 73 percent of medium-haul flights being maintained, Air France said in a statement.

Only four out of five short-haul flights to and from Paris Orly airport and in regional hubs were due to run.

Unions say workers deserve to benefit from years of belt-tightening that have brought the carrier back to operating profitability, after seeing their wages effectively frozen since 2011.

Saturday saw the highest cancellation rate since unions called for the daylong work stoppages in February in pursuit of a six percent pay raise. Air France management estimated 34 percent of pilots walked out, 26 percent of crew and 19 percent of ground staff.

Management's offer of a one percent raise this year has been rejected.

Unions have already warned of more strikes to come, with five more days of walkouts planned including another one on Wednesday.

The airline has warned that the strikes are costing Air France €25 million each day, money the airline says it should be investing in buying planes and creating jobs.

The Air France industrial action coincides with rolling strikes by workers at the state rail operator SNCF, as well as protests by students, public servants, energy workers and rubbish collectors.

Although the various protests have different aims, they have created a general atmosphere of social discontent as President Emmanuel Macron pursues his ambitious reform drive.

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