Air France pilots in strike call during Euro 2016

Air France B777-300ER
Tis Meyer/

Air France’s pilot unions have called on members to strike during the first week of the Euro 2016 football championship in a protest over pay, although the airline’s Chief Executive Officer said fans could just drive or take the train.

The unions said in a joint statement they planned to strike from June 11 until June 14 and might schedule further strikes a few days later if necessary. The football tournament begins in Paris on June 10 and will run until July 10.

“Air France deplores the call for strike action announced by two pilot unions, SPAF and SNPL”, the airline said in a statement.

“It is too early to have an exact idea of the extent and consequences of this strike action. The application of the Diard law will enable Air France to have a more accurate estimate of the number of striking employees in order to inform its customers in advance”, the airline said.

Air France considers that a 4-day pilot strike, at a time when the company is posting positive results after 8 years of losses, will jeopardize this positive momentum and seriously risk compromising the efforts made by all the Company’s staff.

“Air France’s situation remains fragile, and the commitment of all the different staff categories to ensure the Company’s growth and provide a caring image to its customers is a necessity”, the statement reads.

Air France management will take the initiative to organize a meeting with the unions concerned to find a way out of this situation together through constant social dialogue.

The strike call comes after weeks of nationwide protests against a planned labour law reform, which have blocked refineries, led to fuel shortages and disrupted train schedules.

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