Air France : impact de la grève de “l’ordre de 500 millions d’euros”
Le groupe Air France-KLM a annoncé mercredi que les deux semaines de grève des pilotes de la compagnie pourraient se traduire par une ardoise de 500 millions d’euros sur 2014. La chute du trafic passagers atteint elle près de 16%.
AF-KLM announced on Wednesday that of the two weeks pilots strike they could wipe €500M off the slate (ardoise) for 2014. Passenger traffic fell by close to 16%. Pilots can earn up to €25,000 per month.
Opinion: Easyjet and Rynair reported significant increases in passenger numbers. Ironically the pilots were striking against AF-KLM development of the KLM owned low-cost airline Transavia, while their strike helped boost the coffers of two serious LC competitors to AF-KLM. Air France pilots have an agreement With AF management that limits partner airlines to aircraft capacity of less than 100 seats. Four partners; Regional, BritAir, Airlinair (All French) and Cityjet (Irish) acted as feeder airlines to AF in both CDG and Orly in Paris. AF recently sold Cityjet after five years of wrangling over the difference between the labour laws in France and Ireland. All Cityjet aircraft were registered in Ireland as was the company so the Irish laws applied. France initially accepted this when they bought Cityjet in 2000. In 2008 the Sarkozy government introduced a law (decret) stating that if someone worked in France they paid their taxes in France. This went counter to EU law which allowed the free movement of goods and services and the payment of income tax in any EU country. Many transport companies were affected, plus companies that operated near the French borders that allowed staff to work in one country and live in another. France saw this a loss to their exchequer and imposed the decret. French labour law is enshrined in civil law. So if you break it then the Gendarmes show up! As a fully owned partner of AF, Cityjet stuck out like a sore thumb, with staff living and working in France but paying their tax to the Irish exchequer. They also observed Irish public holidays, annual leave, sick leave and retirement age. AF couldn’t challenge the law as they are a French company. However Easyjet, Ryanair and many other ex-pat companies are challenging the law to the European court. (Singer Jonnie Halliday and actor Gerard Depardieu became high profile tax evaders by moving out of France). AF started to reduce the routes from Cityjet and hand them over to the other French partner airlines. Although Cityjet had a lower operating cost than the other <100 seat partners. After the sale of Cityjet AF developed HOP, which is effectively a point to point service and used the other three partner airlines to launch this concept. This is effectively a low cost concept. ADP even built a new terminal building, T2G, to mirror the concept and provide a LC hub in CDG.
Before Alexandre de Juniac (former economic advisor to Christine Legarde) took over as head of AF Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, previous CEO announced new routes to the French provinces on the LCC model. He intended using Regional, BritAir and Airlinair as the carriers and he looked for a lot more flexibility to achieve quicker turnarounds, extended working hours and extra duties for staff. Instead of looking upon this as a consolidation of their partnership positions the partner airlines staff went on strike because they were expected to work harder and longer. The concept was dropped and G0urgeon was sacked. Unfortunately, before his departure he appointed a new board to Cityjet. Informed senior AF sources in Italy revealed that the new Cityjet board were rejects from AF and they were being ‘outsourced’ as Gourgeon knew Cityjet would be sold and AF would be rid of them.