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Air France Pilots Agree to End 2-week Strike

  • VOA News

FILE - Air France planes being loaded with luggage at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA).

FILE - Air France planes being loaded with luggage at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA).

Air France's leading pilots union has decided to end to a two-week strike that crippled the French airline, a union official told Reuters on Sunday.

The strike's end comes after Air France offered Wednesday to scrap a central part of a plan to shift most of its European operations to low-cost carrier Transavia.

That plan had prompted the strike, because pilots see it as a way to outsource their jobs to countries with lower taxes and labor costs. Air France wants to restructure to stay competitive.

Air France planes are parked on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy, near Paris.(Diaa Bekheet/VOA)

Air France planes are parked on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy, near Paris.(Diaa Bekheet/VOA)

Air France's dispute with pilots triggered a walkout that has cost it up to 20 million euros ($25 million) a day, grounded roughly half of the carrier's flights, stranded passengers worldwide and led to stern shows of frustration by the French prime minister.

“I can confirm that the SNPL (the airline's main union) has decided to put an end to the strike,” Julien Doboz, spokesman for the sister Air France pilot union SPAF, told Reuters.

Responses

Air France declined immediate comment.

Nobody at SNPL was immediately available for comment, Reuters reported.

However, the SNPL union told The Associated Press in a text message that the strike was over. A spokesman told AP he was unable to immediately provide further details, but confirmed that the union believed conditions were still not in place for proper dialogue between the pilots and Air France management to overcome problems leading to the strike.

Pilots have been trying to pressure Air France to offer the same contracts to those flying on the proposed new Transavia unit as to its own pilots, a demand the airline has argued is incompatible with the low-cost model.

The pilots decided to end the strike without reaching an agreement with the French airline even though talks resumed with management on Saturday night.

Some material for this report came from Reuters and AP.

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