Air passengers faced yet more travel woes on Monday as workers at Air France went on strike for the tenth day in two months due to an ongoing wage dispute at the airline.
The airline said it expected to operate 75 percent of flights on Monday, which is the first day of a 48-hour strike by employees.
It plans to operate 65 percent of its long-haul flights, 65 percent of its medium-haul flights to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and 85 percent of its short-haul flights at Paris-Orly and provincial airports.
Air France said that it estimates that 28 percent of its pilots, just under 20 percent of its cabin crew and 13 percent of ground staff would be taking part in the industrial action.
Talks were ongoing last week but passengers saw their hopes of a resolution dashed on Thursday when unions announced there would be more strikes in “early May”, without naming the actual dates.
Air France unions, who say wages have remained the same since 2011, are demanding staff be given a 5.1 percent pay increase across the board in 2018.
Company bosses have been offering a 2 percent rise in 2018 with further pay increases to come in the years ahead, depending on whether the company makes a profit.
On Thursday the joint union group rejected the latest offer on the table and the carrier said on Friday that it would consult employees online for their opinions.
“These strikes are having serious consequences for the business,” Air France bosses have warned. “They put the future of Air France in danger.”
On Friday, the embattled CEO of Air France-KLM, Jean-Marc Janaillac, threatened to resign if Air France staff continued to reject his wage proposals.
Air France bosses revealed recently that the first seven days of the strikes had cost the airline €170 million. After nine days of industrial action the bill was believed to be €220 million.
The airline had already warned that the strikes were costing Air France €25 million each day, money the airline says it should be investing in buying planes and creating jobs.
Monday also sees the start of another two days of strikes by rail workers over the shake-up which have been causing havoc for French commuters two days out of five since the start of April.
Rail unions object to plans to strip new SNCF recruits of jobs-for-life and early retirement, part of Macron's bid to reduce the SNCF's nearly 50 billion euros ($61.5 billion) of debt.
The unions are gambling on public opinion turning in their favour but polls suggest an opposite trend, with just 43 percent backing the strike in an Ifop poll released Sunday.
The scale of the disruption has also eased over the course of the month as fewer workers continue with the strike.
On Monday, 35 percent of high-speed trains are set to operate — up from just an eighth at the beginning of the month.