Air France has warned that 60 percent of its flights are likely to be cancelled on Tuesday if the strikes continue. The strike sent the companies shares down almost four percent, while Air France Chief Executive Frederic Gagey said the strike would cost the airline between 13 and 19 million dollars a day.
The CEO said the positions of French pilots had hardened during weekend talks and expressed concerns about the strike's financial impact as well as the defection of previously loyal passengers to competing airlines. "It is as though we had talked for 20 hours for nothing," he said at a news conference. Passengers stranded at French airports were outraged at the outcome of the strikes, with many missing their connecting flights aswell as their jobs.
At Paris's main Charles De Gaulle airport, a total of 212 Air France flights were cancelled on Monday out of some 500. Air France said it had sent 65,000 text messages to alert passengers affected by the strike called by its main pilots' union SNPL, and deployed some 7,000 extra workers to help stranded customers. Passengers whose flights are cancelled will be fully reimbursed while the compensation for delayed flights will range between 250 to 600 euros.
Unions warned the transport situation would be even worse on Tuesday and Wednesday as the pilots who did decide to work on Monday would have to take their legally stipulated rest.