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Air France Plans 65% of Long-Haul Flights

Air France (AF) said it expects to provide 65 percent of its long-haul services and 75 percent of domestic and European flights as pilots and other workers stage a fourth day of walkouts to protest a proposed labor-law change.

The strike, which began Feb. 6, is scheduled to end today. Air France Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac yesterday estimated the walkout would cost the Paris-based airline about 10 million euros ($13.3 billion) per day.

Union pilots, cabin crew and ground workers are protesting a bill to be considered by the French Senate that would require each employee to give companies 48 hours’ notice before striking. The four-day walkout comes less than three months after de Juniac became Air France chief executive, succeeding Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, who left amid financial losses.

The parent company, Air France-KLM Group, will post a loss of “several hundred million euros” for 2011 after fuel costs increased, de Juniac told French legislators Jan. 25.

Air France operated 65 percent of its scheduled long-haul flights yesterday and 75 percent of short- and medium-haul services. Customers scheduled to travel during the walkout dates will be allowed to modify or postpone their journeys. Air France said it sent 170,000 e-mails and SMS telephone-text messages to warn passengers of flight changes as of yesterday evening.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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