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Air France Strike Continues

November 17, 2008 By: Jena Tesse Fox


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According to a Reuters report, Air France pilots went on strike for a fourth consecutive day on Monday, continuing their dispute over the airline's retirement plans.

The airline said that it expected to run between 65 and 70 percent of its long-haul flights from Paris on Monday as a result of the strike. The situation on its medium-haul network should remain unchanged, with around half of its flights operating. The airline said it had kept passengers informed of latest developments and would re-route passengers onto other flights where necessary.

Air France's website posted that normal service was scheduled to resume on Tuesday, with 100 percent of long-haul flights and 95 percent of short and medium-haul flights ready to fly as planned.

The following long-haul flights, scheduled to fly on November 17 after 11 p.m. from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, have been postponed by about two hours so that they could operate:

  • AF418 CDG Buenos Aires
  • AF454 CDG Sao Paulo
  • AF406 CDG Santiago, Chili 
  • AF188 CDG Hong Kong 
  • AF278 CDG Tokyo Narita 
  • AF116 CDG Shanghai 
  • AF990 CDG Johannesburg 
  • AF530 CDG Dubaï 
  • AF256 CDG Singapore 
  • AF442 CDG Rio de Janeiro 
  • AF928 CDG Luanda

The strike started on Thursday last week and is due to last until midnight local time on Monday. It will likely cost the Air France $126.9 million, Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta said on Thursday. In a further blow to the company’s finances, Air France KLM shares were down 2.1 percent at 10.34 euros in mid-morning trade.

The pilots walked off the job over proposals to raise the retirement age to 65 from the current 60, a measure being discussed in parliament as part of wider social security reforms.

The company—and the government—say the planned change would be voluntary and pilots would not be forced to work until 65, but unions believe it is the “thin end of a wedge” that will force staff to work longer or accept lower pensions.

Air France, the French flag carrier network, is operated by Franco-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM. The French government has a stake of around 16 percent in the company.


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