Air France may drop Transavia expansion plans in bid to ease tensions with unions

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 24, 2014 20:02

Air France may drop Transavia expansion plans in bid to ease tensions with unions

French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies has stated that Air France-KLM has withdrawn its plans to expand low-cost subsidiary Transavia in a bid to ease tensions with flight crew union SNPL, over the union’s accusation that expansion plans pose a risk to the security of pilots’ terms and conditions.

“The Transavia Europe project has been abandoned,” Vidalies told RMC radio. “It isn’t suspended for three months, it’s been withdrawn by management.”

However Air France management itself has stated that the plans are only temporarily suspended.

The union instigated a walk-out that has lasted for ten days so far, and among its demands were a review of the plans for the subsidiary, but an outright suspension or abandonment was not on their agenda.

Nevertheless the move represents a significant blow to Air France, as the expansion of Transavia was a cornerstone of its “Perform 2020” restructuring programme.
With the strike extending into its tenth day, Air France expecting to operate only 46% of flights. The airline has said the strike is costing it up to €20 million (US$25.70 million) per day.

Air France chief executive Frederic Gagey told French media he echoed the words of parent company Air France-KLM CEO Alexandre de Juniac earlier this week, saying the project may eventually have to be dropped, but only if talks with the unions fail.
“We have indeed withdrawn the idea of creating the offshoot, for now, so it’s clear, we have understood we have to re-explain the project [to the pilots] so we have to discuss it with our social partners and find the conditions we need to relaunch it.”

“Let’s not play with words,” he said. “If the talks go nowhere there will be no solution except to say we are not getting anywhere, and at this stage we cannot go forward with this development outside France.”

The SNPL union has threatened to prolong the walkout indefinitely until talks are resolved.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP September 24, 2014 20:02