Simon Calder: Air France braces for thousands of strike compensation claims after European Court ruling

Air France strike: Tens of thousands of passengers stranded by latest walk out

More than 40 long-haul flights have been grounded to and from Paris CDG airport alone

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 18 April 2018 11:23

At least 40,000 passengers have been left stranded by the latest Air France strike, with a similar number likely to be affected tomorrow.

The management have warned the stoppages are “putting the company’s future in danger”.

Pilots, cabin crew and ground staff working for the French airline are on their eighth day of industrial action in a bitter pay dispute.

They are demanding a 6 per cent rise this year, while the airline is offering 2 per cent.

Some flights linking Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh with Paris Charles de Gaulle have been cancelled, along with about 150 other short- and medium-haul flights.

At least 24 long-haul departures from Paris CDG have been grounded, with passengers to Tahiti, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Miami among those affected. With the corresponding inbound services on Tuesday, more than 40 long-haul links will be cancelled.

The airline is also warning that some flights that do depart may not be able to accommodate all the booked passengers, due to a shortage of cabin crew.

The strike continues on Wednesday, in which a similar number of passengers are expected to find their travel plans wrecked.

Talks earlier this week failed to reach an agreement. However, Air France management is “proposing a final agreement for signature up to Friday 20 April 2018 at midday”.

The airline said: “This final draft agreement ensures general salary increases for 2018 (an additional measure), 2019, 2020 and 2021, within the framework of a ‘growth pact’ for the future. It includes proposals that are both strong and economically sustainable.”

The proposal would boost the earnings of the lowest-paid workers by more than two per cent.

The management warned: “The continuing strike action is having serious consequences for the company, its customers and staff. It is financially destructive for the airline and its staff and is putting the company’s future in danger.”

The cost of nine days of strikes has been put at €220m (£190m).

Under European passengers’ rights rules, no compensation is payable, but the airline is required to provide meals and accommodation to disrupted travellers, and buy flights on rival airlines if necessary.

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