Air France strike chaos continues

Air France flights were disrupted for a fourth day yesterday with striking flight attendants refusing to give in and the transport minister asking for both sides to restart talks.

The carrier hoped to get 60 per cent of its flights in the air as travelers were growing tired of inconveniences and delays despite a pledge by Air France to reimburse those unable to find suitable alternatives.

"What the government wants is that negotiations restart and succeed and that we get out of this situation of conflict," said Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau.

The strike by flight attendants over pay and working conditions was expected to last through the day Monday, with the carrier saying it expected 70 per cent of flights to be operational by then.

Unions unanimously rejected an Air France proposal Saturday night, saying it was too vague.

The walkout interrupted the start of a holiday in France when airports were jammed, and there were signs that passengers were losing patience.

"I am disgusted because I have the impression we are being held hostage," said one waiting passenger at Charles de Gaulle airport, identifying herself only as Maryse.

"If we want to be reimbursed we need to wait for the final cancellation of the flight," said stranded traveler Philippe Lefort, 45. He noted that a single flight can be delayed several times in a day, meaning a daylong wait to see if the plane will take off.