Business travelers and those on vacation getaways to Europe who are flying with Air France may run into delays and even canceled flights due to the pilots who are currently on strike. According to Bloomberg, the Air France strike is the most disruptive to the carrier since its pilots last went on strike in 1998, and pilots are threatening to extend it.
Some pilots vowed to continue the strike through Sept. 22, and as the date came and went, some said that they would continue their walkout into the last week of September. The source said that as a result of its cutback on the number of pilots available to fly the carrier’s planes, it’s only sending about 45 percent of its scheduled flights in the air.
The reason for the strike by Air France employees is because of the carrier’s attempt to reduce costs and transferring some pilots over to its short-haul business travel carrier called Transavia, a job that reportedly pays less than working for Air France’s core services. The source stated that approximately 60 percent of Air France pilots are not working because they are protesting the airline’s plans to reduce pay for flight crews.
According to Bloomberg, the reason that Air France is attempting to cut its costs is because it wants to stay in line with discount carriers like EasyJet and Ryanair, airlines that have caused Air France to lose money on shorter flights for year.
However, Air France offered to throw away its expansion plans for Transavia in return for pilots to return to work immediately. In addition, the carrier said it will guarantee not to relocate any jobs.
“With the withdrawal of the Transavia Europe project, there is now no reason to strike because there are no longer any concerns about relocation,” Air France said in a statement. “We therefore call on the striking pilots to return to work immediately.”