Air France pilots back low-cost expansion

Pilots keep contracts if they work for Transavia France

Just over half of Air France pilots have backed a deal reached in October to develop low-cost operations in France. Exactly 53% of the pilots approved the agreement, including 60% of members of the majority union SNPL.

The agreement followed a two-week strike that cost the airline €500 million. Pilots were worried that expanding the low-cost unit Transavia would affect their pay and working conditions.

Under the new deal, pilots keep their Air France contracts if they sign a “detachment” contract to cover time flying with Transavia France. More than 200 Air France pilots have so far volunteered to fill 72 positions at Transavia France, Air France says.

The plan is to raise Transavia France’s fleet from 16 planes in summer 2014 to 21 in summer 2015 and 37 by 2019.

Reuters

[photo courtesy Air France]