French pilots union SNPL has warned that a week-long strike by its Air France members is likely to intensify in the coming days.
Air France had to cancel six out of ten flights on Monday and this could increase as more pilots back the stoppage.
The dispute is over the carrier’s plans to expand its low cost Transavia brand.
The union says along with forcing pay cuts on pilots who will be asked to move to the low budget brand, Transavia will also adversely affect Air France.
“This isn’t a growth plan, it’s a plan of redeployment and in order to redeploy these aircraft they will crush Air France’s business by giving the slots at Orly airport to Transavia so that Transavia can take off and operate fully at Orly,” complained union
chief Jean-Louis Barber.
In Germany Lufthansa is also in dispute with its pilots over retirement terms.
However an eight hour strike planned for Tuesday has been cancelled. If it had gone ahead it would have been the fourth to hit Lufthansa within three weeks.
Competition from budget airline rivals is forcing European carriers to speed up restructuring measures in order to cut costs.