French Minister Warns Air France Will "Disappear" Unless Crisis Stops

08 May, 2018, 01:07 | Author: Julio Duncan
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Late on Friday, a visibly shaken chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac threw in the towel, resigning from a post he held for less than two years after failing to win backing from employees for his pay proposals.

The French government owns 14.3% of the Air France-KLM parent group.

Shares in Air France-KLM crashed as much as 14.5% on Monday after the group's CEO quit over a pay dispute and the French government said it would not intervene to help.

Air France-KLM shares fell more than 14 percent before recovering some losses to trade down 10 percent at 7.28 euros ($8.68) at 1230 GMT, their lowest level since April 2017.

France's economy minister on Sunday warned that the survival of Air France was now in the balance.

Travellers should expect last minute delays and cancellations, Air France said, adding it will update its flight schedule for Tuesday later today.

Air France has said that "nearly 85 percent" of its flights would be operating, including 99 percent of long-haul flights, 80 percent of its medium-haul flights to and from Charles de Gaulle and 87 percent of short-haul flights to Orly airport and elsewhere in France.

"The important issue is right now that the company will disappear if it does not take necessary steps to be more competitive", Bruno Le Maire told French news channel BFM, warning of the impact of more strikes.

Walkouts that led to the resignation of Mr Janaillac on Friday are continuing this week, with about 15 per cent of services scrapped today, the airline said on its website.

Air France-KLM reported a net loss of €269m (£238m) in the first quarter of the year.

The Air France turmoil has coincided with other strike action in France where rail workers press on with rolling stoppages to protest President Emmanuel Macron's planned overhaul of SNCF, the state-run train operator.

France's finance minister has warned that the survival of strike-hit Air France was in the balance following the departure of the company's chief executive over a pay dispute.

Air France merged with Dutch carrier KLM in 2004.

After protracted negotiations, management last week offered a 2% pay rise this year and an additional 5% over 2019-2021.



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