Air France forced to cancel more flights

by William ASTON on February 8, 2012

Air France today revealed that it is expected to have to cancel anything up to 40 per cent of the long-haul flights it has scheduled, and 30 per cent of short flights, as the plane pilot strike went into its third day.

The French flaghship carrier has had to inform thousands of passengers by text or email of how their already-booked flights have been axed. Yesterday, half of both long and medium-haul journeys were cut, though many passengers were thankfully re-routed to alternative flights, according to the airline.

SNPL, the pilots union, said that around half of its members have been participating in the action that is mainly over plans to make all strikers across the airline industry let their employer know no less than two days before they will walk out. At present, they aren’t required to give notice at all.

The industrial action, adding to hectic travel disarray due to freezing temperatures across continental Europe, is scheduled to run until tomorrow night. Citing still-unnamed sources, French daily newspaper La Tribune ran an article alleging that Air France has lost roughly 15 million euros a day during the strikes - a figure that doesn’t include the costs of compensating passengers that had their flights cancelled.

French government Transport Minister Thierry Mariani commented earlier this week that Paris remains determined to make its way through legislation, which will let airlines plot minimum services during strikes rather than suddenly finding out that staff haven’t showed up for work on a particular day.

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