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AF Cancels Flights


deicer
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Seems the malaise isn't just in Australia and Canada...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-30/air-france-cancels-20-of-flights-as-cabin-crew-strike-enters-second-day.html

Air France-KLM Group canceled about 12 percent of its flights today as its cabin-crew strike to protest plans to cut the number of on-board attendants entered its second day.

Air France, Europe’s biggest airline, said on its website that it operated 88 percent of its flights today. The Paris- based carrier scrubbed 130 of its 1,000 flights yesterday, it said, citing final numbers. Tomorrow, the airline can guarantee at least 85 percent of its flights, the company said.

Unions representing cabin crew called for a five-day strike from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, one of France’s busiest travel periods, marking the All Saints Day holiday. The disruption also comes as the Group of 20 leaders prepares to meet in Cannes, France on Nov. 3 and 4. Unions said the strike will be intensified.

“Clients are being held hostage by a five-day strike for which there is no reason,” Air France said in a statement. “Air France’s management negotiated day and night for 10 days and responded favorably to 90 percent of the flight attendant unions’ demands.”

The walkouts come at a difficult time for the airline. Air France-KLM this month recalled Jean-Cyril Spinetta, 68, as chief executive officer and ousted Pierre-Henri Gourgeon amid slumping earnings and questions regarding the role of its pilots in a fatal crash. Air France shares have tumbled 57 percent this year, the worst performance among carriers in the region.

“It’s not the best time for the airline,” Ecology Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said on Europe 1 radio today. “In the current situation, it doesn’t help.”

Hardening Stance

Paris airports, Orly and Roissy Charles de Gaulle, as well as the airport in Marseille were among those hit most by the strike. Flights canceled today include nine long-haul ones from Paris to New York, Montreal, Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi and Saint Marteen.

Television images showed hundreds of stranded, irate passengers seeking other ways to make it to their destinations.

Unions meanwhile threatened to harden their stand, claiming that 50 percent to 60 percent of cabin crew supports the strike. Air France put the number at 30 percent.

“The strike will grow in strength,” union representative Didier Foussat was cited as saying in Le Parisien newspaper.

The unions are protesting plans to cut the number of attendants on certain flights. They have countered charges that they pick the busiest travel period for their protests by saying that Air France schedules announcements that might upset labor during holiday periods to pressure unions not to strike.

Operating Losses

Air France-KLM reported operating losses in two of the past three fiscal years following 11 years of profitability on that basis under Spinetta, who ran Air France and later the enlarged company formed via the purchase of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines NV from 1998 through the end of 2008, with Gourgeon as his deputy.

The airline’s reputation also took a hit after safety experts said pilot training was a factor in the June 2009 Rio de Janeiro-Paris crash that killed all 228 people on board.

Separately, Qantas Airways Ltd. grounded its fleet yesterday because of labor disputes. The airline said it plans to resume flights as early as the afternoon of Oct. 31 after a labor regulator barred stoppages that prompted Australia’s biggest carrier to ground its fleet, stranding about 80,000 passengers.

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Only the French could come up with a quote like this:

The unions are protesting plans to cut the number of attendants on certain flights. They have countered charges that they pick the busiest travel period for their protests by saying that Air France schedules announcements that might upset labor during holiday periods to pressure unions not to strike.

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What colour is the sky in your world Dagger? That 'quote' is a true representation of a management strategy, employed frequently and across the board at the airlines of the western world. Yes, management genius does indeed play the 'let's change the rules of play and blame the union for it's pissy attitude today' games.

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