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Pilot Strike Costing Air France $25 Million Per Day

September 22, 2014 - Air France's pilot strike has been disrupting flight operations for the past seven days, with catastrophic consequences for the Company. This strike generates an operating loss of up to $25 million (US Dollar) per day. 

Negotiations with the pilot unions, notably the SNPL, have taken place daily, since the beginning of the strike action. Each side is blaming the other for not putting forward any proposal demonstrating their willingness to find a solution. Management has reported that talks have reached a deadlock. 

Air France's Pilots walked out a week ago in protest against Air France's plans to expand Transavia Airlines (routes, planes, etc) while cutting costs at the legacy airline. Transavia Airlines  is a Dutch based low-cost airline operating as an independent part of the Air France-KLM group. Transavia Airlines  operates scheduled and charter services to leisure destinations. The proposed goal is to create Transavia Europe. 


The union believes that Air France is setting the stage for outsourcing its pilots and hiring pilots at a cheaper wage. In a statement to its union members, SNPL said "In this regard, I would refer you to the Pisani Ferry report published last year. Unlike Germany, the French government has unfortunately not yet grasped the issues highlighted by the report. In the same spirit, I remind you of the existence of the Senate report entitled " The right to hold social dumping in aviation."

The union states that it wants Air France-KLM group to insure pilots at Transavia Airlines are provided with the same working conditions and benefits as with Air France. Air France said " The pilot unions have stigmatized the Transavia project by fuelling unfounded fears of "delocalization" and "social dumping", which have never been at stake".

Today, Air France expects to operate 42% of its flights and on Tuesday the carrier expects to operate 48% of its flights with an estimated 57% of pilots planning to strike. Air France also said "The expansion of Transavia in France is vital for Air France, notably in order to defend the Group's position at Orly, as highlighted by the experts' report published in July 2014 and supported by the SNPL. It is now urgent to implement this plan".


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