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Strike grounds one in four Air France flights

The Connexion, Apr 23

One in four Air France flights were cancelled on Monday, as staff walkout for the 10th time in an ongoing pay dispute.

The airline said it would guarantee 65% of long and medium-haul flights on Monday, along with 85% of short-haul flights, but warned "disturbances and delays cannot be ruled out".

A second day of action will take place on Tuesday.

The 10th walkout comes after news that the company’s president, Jean-Marc Janaillac, unveiled plans to consult directly with staff over wage proposals that have been rejected by the unions.

Mr Janaillac has put his entire future at Air France on securing a deal via this consultation process. "If the result is negative, I don't see how I could stay at the head of Air France," he said at a press conference. Bosses at the airline put forward a deal which included an immediate 2% pay rise, increasing to 5% between 2019 and 2021. The employee consultation will have no legal value, but if it is viewed positively by staff, it will be taken back to the unions for another negotiation.

The unorthodox method has worked before. Predecessor Christian Blanc pushed through a restructuring plan in 1994 via an similar internal consultation.

The walkouts have cost Air France an estimated €300million so far, with more strikes planned.

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