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Air France pilots' strike set to break 16-year record

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Air France pilots' strike set to break 16-year record


Pilots at national carrier Air France have ignored calls from the prime minister to end their strike, which goes into a fourth day on Thursday, and may well last the whole week, as unions promised.

It is the longest strike at the airline since 1998, and has resulted in only 40 percent of flights leaving as scheduled.

Air France says the strike is costing it up to 15 million euros a day.

“It’s difficult to support the strike as we don’t really understand what the reasons are, let’s say it is a bit irritating when you see the number of people who find themselves in a rather difficult
situation,” said one commuting Frenchman.

“This makes things a bit difficult because you need to move around, go to the travel agency 
and back, it’s a bit complicated. As we’re at the end of our stay, we can at least take it easy,” said a Spanish tourist.

Well-paid pilots are angry Air France is expanding its low-cost operation Transavia, and basing it in Portugal where it will pay lower wages, shifting many of its French-based staff onto its books there.

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