A pilots strike threatens to snarl Air France flights for a second week in a row as the pilots protest plans to beef up a low-cost unit of the company.
The strike has created headaches for thousands of Air France customers, grounding more than half of Air France’s entire flight schedule last week. The pilots announced on Friday (Sept. 19) that they planned to carry the labor action into this week, saying they would disrupt flights through Friday (Sept. 26).
The pilots union is upset at an Air France plan to move a large portion of its intra-Europe flying to Transavia, the low-cost unit of the Air France-KLM group.
Air France — which says the strike is costing it most than $19 million a day — apologized to customers, adding it would do the best it could to help customers.
“Our teams are fully mobilized and make their utmost to assist you and minimize the impact of this industrial action on your travel plans,” the airline says on its website.
The carrier also is allowing customers to make changes to their tickets – with some restrictions – at no charge.
The labor action has been one of the worst to hit Air France in recent years, something that The Associated Press says “reflects larger challenges for Europe’s airlines and European economies trying to maintain generous worker protections while allowing companies to adapt to evolving markets.”
Air France-KLM CEO Alexandre de Juniac on Monday proposed to delay the implementation of its Transavia plan in an offer the company hoped would end the strike.
But the offer did not appease pilots, who vowed to continue the strike.