Air France grounds scores of flights on Tuesday due to strike

Air France grounds scores of flights on Tuesday due to strike
A strike by Air France staff will cause more travel misery for passengers on Tuesday with the airline announcing 30 percent of flights have been cancelled.

Tuesday marks the eighth day of industrial action by Air France staff since February and once again it will cause a travel headache for passengers. 

Air France announced on Monday that the airline would have to cancel around 45 percent of its long haul flights on Tuesday and flights will be hit around the country.

It also says it will have to ground 35 percent of medium-haul flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport as well as 20 percent of short-haul flights from Orly airport in Paris and airports around the country.

And for those passengers whose flights are not cancelled the company warns they can expect delays and disruption.

The strike action is being carried out by Air France pilots, cabin crew and ground staff. However despite the ongoing disruption the figures suggest the number of staff taking part in the industrial action is decreasing compared to previous strike days.

For example 29.6 percent of pilots will strike on Tuesday compared to 36.3 percent who took part last Wednesday.

Unions say workers deserve to benefit from years of belt-tightening that have brought the carrier back to operating profitability after seeing their wages effectively frozen since 2011.

They are calling for a 6 percent pay rise across the board and have rejected the management's offer of a one percent rise. Management returned with an offer of 2 percent from 2018 and a 3.6 percent rise between 2019 and 2021.

But the offer was not accepted by unions who are only looking for a deal for 2018.

Negotiations between unions and management took place once again on Monday but there is no sign the deadlock is being broken.

The airline has warned that the strikes are costing Air France €25 million each day, money the airline says it should be investing in buying planes and creating jobs.

Wednesday will also see Air France staff walk-out for a ninth day and April 23rd and 24th are also scheduled as strike days. More days of industrial action may yet be announced if an agreement cannot be reached.

The Air France industrial action coincides with rolling strikes by workers at the state rail operator SNCF, as well as protests by students, public servants, energy workers and rubbish collectors.

Although the various protests have different aims, they have created a general atmosphere of social discontent as President Emmanuel Macron pursues his ambitious reform drive.

Below is The Local's calendar for when it might be wise to avoid travel this Spring.



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