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AIR FRANCE

Air France profits nosedive by €335 million due to strikes

A wave of strikes battered earnings at Air France-KLM in the second quarter, but higher passenger numbers meant the group stayed in the black, it said Wednesday.

Air France profits nosedive by €335 million due to strikes
Photo: AFP
The Franco-Dutch company estimated the cost of the 15 days of strikes between February and June at €335 million ($391 million).
   
The bitter dispute over salaries led to the resignation in May of CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac.
   
The group reported net profits of 109 million euros for the period of April to June. That was down sharply from 593 million for the same period last year, although that figure was boosted by new accounting rules.
 
In just the second quarter, the impact of the strikes was estimated at around 260 million euros.
   
Passengers numbers edged up 0.8 percent to 26 million. It also benefited from improved unit revenue, which allowed it to maintain net sales stable at 6.6 billion euros.
 
Janaillac had gambled his job on calling a vote among Air France staff on whether to accept a seven percent pay rise over four years, saying he would quit if it was rejected.
   
He announced his resignation on May 4 after 55.44 percent voted against the deal.
   
Janaillac's successor is expected to be named in September.
 
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Air France unions threaten more strike action in SeptemberPhoto: AFP

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STRIKES

French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.

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