Air France pilots to extend strike beyond Monday


Air France pilots have voted to extend their week-long strike into next week over persisting disputes with the airline on cost cuts and other issues.

The head of the country´s SNPL union, Jean-Louis Barber, said on Saturday that more than four-fifths of the 74 percent of the pilots who took part in the ballot agreed to take the industrial action beyond Monday and extend the walkout for another four days until September 26.

“It could continue subsequently, given the very strong mandate,” Barber added.

Meanwhile, Air France says the strike has forced the airline to cancel about half of all its flights on Saturday.

Nearly 60 percent of all Air France pilots have not shown up at work to protest the airline’s plans to expand its low-cost subsidiary, Transavia France, in addition to other cost-cutting measures.

The pilots are further concerned that the management could replace them with low-income pilots working for Transavia France, potentially leading to thousands of job losses.

According to Air France, the 6-day walkout is costing the airline 10-15 million euros per day, so far totaling up to 90 million euros.

The airline further stated on Friday that it expected to operate only 45 percent of its flights on Saturday as majority of its pilots have joined the industrial action.

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