PARIS, Feb 24 (AFP) – Flight attendants at Air France are to strike this Friday and Saturday but their stoppage will have little effect on the airline’s schedules, unions and management said.
The attendants are protesting plans to cut their numbers on short- and medium-haul flights in response, they say, to the cost-cutting measures introduced by low-budget carriers that have been stealing leisure passengers from the longer established airlines.
“We find this unacceptable in terms of safety because there’s already not enough people for the current crewing needs. As for the service – we won’t even talk about that,” said one union representative, Gaelle Sibiril of the UGICT-CGT.
Air France said it hopes to shave EUR 1 billion (USD 1.3 billion) from its operating costs over the next three years by trimming service on routes within France and Europe and by shifting flight attendants to the more profitable long-haul international runs.
A spokeswoman said the company would not be cutting any jobs, and that only around 450 of its 14,000 flights attendants would be affected by the changes.
Another 700 attendants would be hired in the second half of this year “to respond to requirements to do with the growth in the long-haul sector and with those leaving due to retirement.”
Subject: France news