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Holiday strike for Air France pilots

Airline insists union action ‘should not have an impact’ on its services out of Orly airport

A PILOTS’ strike threatens to cause misery for some families planning a trip abroad during the upcoming school holidays.

The Union of Air France Pilots (SPAF) has called for three days of action between February 22 and 25 over the company’s plans to draft its employees to low-cost subsidiary Transavia, which operates out of Orly.

Air France, however, insisted the action planned by the minority union should “have no impact”.

In a statement, the union called on its pilots to take action to “defend their employment contract”. It argues that the secondment of pilots amounts to a “transfer of Air France medium-haul operations to Transavia”.

It added Transavia “must find ways of developing without cannibalising its parent company”.

Air France-KLM is planning to grow its low-cost subsidiary over the next couple of years, but needs pilot agreement.

Air France and the pilots’ unions have been in negotiation for several weeks. The company said that an agreement was not far off and said that it would “continue to develop Transavia in 2014 to offer more destinations to its customers from Orly”.

According to the unions, the draft agreement, which was discussed last month, involved the transfer of between two and six A320 aircraft - and their crews - from Air France to Transavia.

Photo: Pieter van Marion

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