Air France passengers face days of delay and disruption as the airline’s pilots begin a week-long strike.
The company apologised to those hit by the industrial action in a dispute over the transfer of jobs to a low-cost carrier.
Catherine Jude is Air France operations director:
“On Tuesday September 16 we estimate that we will operate at 40 per cent capacity, with 60 per cent of staff on strike.”
Air France’s short haul routes are falling victim to the success of the budget airlines and the company is looking to boost its own no-frills option Transavia Europe.
The aviators are furious, Jean-Louis Barber is from the
“Air France want to create a new company, Transavia Europe, not under French law, maybe Portuguese. You base the planes in Portugal, for example, so Porto-Paris flights will be flown by lower paid Portuguese pilots, rather than French pilots. This destroys jobs, this is about delocalisation and social dumping, that is why pilots are angry.”
Airline strikes directly impact on travellers causing misery and frustration: “I understand there is a strike, they are right to do it, but it’s a shame that it has to involve us,” said one stranded passenger.
The spat will be a costly business for Air France with losses expected to run to between 10 to 15 million euros a day.