Bloomberg News

Air France Aims to Offer 60% of Long-Haul Flights Tomorrow

February 07, 2012

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Air France said it expects to fly at least 60 percent of its long-haul routes tomorrow as pilots and other workers stage a third day of walkouts in protest of a proposed change in union laws.

Short-and medium-haul services will be about 70 percent of normal levels, the French unit of Air France-KLM Group said in an e-mail. The airline said today’s international flights ran at 70 percent, better-than-anticipated, while medium- and short- haul flights were at the same level, less-than-expected.

Union pilots, cabin crew and ground workers are protesting a bill to be considered by the French Senate that would require each employee planning to strike to give companies 48 hours’ notice. The walkouts that started Feb. 6, and planned to extend through Feb. 9, come less than three months after Alexandre de Juniac became Air France chief executive officer, succeeding Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, who left amid financial losses.

The parent airline will post a loss of “several hundred million euros” for 2011 after fuel costs increased, de Juniac told French legislators Jan. 25.

Air France-KLM fell 0.2 percent to 5.11 euros in Paris today. The stock dropped 63 percent in the past 12 months, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 8.7 percent.

Air France had said earlier in the day that it aimed to serve “more than 50 percent” of overseas flights today, and 75 percent of short- and medium-haul flights.

“The number of flight cancellations depends on several factors other than the number of staff striking, such as regulatory constraints, crew rest periods and the geographical position of the aircraft,” the Paris-based airline said.

Customers scheduled to travel during the walkout dates will be allowed to modify or postpone their journeys, and the airline advised that passengers try to postpone their plans.

--Editors: Romaine Bostick, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Toulouse, France, at aerothman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net


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