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Air France strike grounds 20 percent of flights

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Air France strike grounds 20 percent of flights
11:13 CEST+02:00
Air France on Saturday cancelled around 20 percent of its flights on the fourth day of a strike by flight attendants during the peak summer travel season, the airline said.

The French carrier said it expected around the same level of service on Sunday with some 80 percent of flights still scheduled.

However, "last minute cancellations and delays cannot be ruled out," the airline added in a statement.

"Difficulties with the composition of the crews could also lead to limits on the number of passengers per flight," it said.

For security reasons there must be one flight attendant for every 50 passengers on board.

On Friday the airline cancelled a flight to New Delhi at the last minute because of a lack of personnel.

Unions representing around half of the strikers called the stoppage, which began Wednesday, after marathon talks failed to reach a breakthrough on renewing a collective labour accord on rules, pay and promotions that expires in October.

Management wants to limit the extension of the agreement to 17 months, whereas unions are asking for between three and five years.

Air France has also grappled with pilot strikes. The last one took place June 11-14, right at the start of Euro 2016 football championships. The airline estimated that the stoppage cost it some €40 million ($45 million).

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