Air France counts cost of strike

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PARIS, 11 April 2018: Air France said Tuesday that seven day-long strikes since February by workers demanding higher pay are set to cost it 170 million euros (USD 209 million).

“The impact on Air France operating income of the seven days of strike between 22 February and 11 April 11, 2018 is estimated around 170 million euros,” the group said.

The estimate was contained in a statement on the passenger numbers of Air France-KLM, which said they had increased by 5.4% in March.

The walkouts were set to continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, for a total of seven days since the strikes began in February.

In another statement, Air France said one flight out of four would be cancelled on Tuesday, as the operator urged customers with reservations for the day to postpone their trips.

The flight schedule for Wednesday was set to be updated later Tuesday. Further strikes are planned on April 17, 18, 23 and 24.

Unions say workers deserve to benefit from years of belt-tightening that have brought the carrier back to operating profitability, after seeing their wages effectively frozen since 2011.

The industrial action at Air France, where the French government owns a minority stake, coincides with rolling strikes by workers at the state rail operator SNCF, as well as protests by students, public servants, energy workers and rubbish collectors.

The SNCF said Monday that the strikes against plans to overhaul the debt-laden company had already cost it around 100 million euros.

Although the various protests have different aims, they have created a general atmosphere of social discontent as President Emmanuel Macron pursues his ambitious reform drive.

© Agence France-Presse