France's CGT union transport section called for the strike to be renewed on 20-Oct-2010 (AFP, 19-Oct-2010). The section covers airport staff and air traffic controllers. Airport staff participated in strike action in the country on 19-Oct-2010, disrupting flights to French airports (Reuters, 19-Oct-2010). Fifty percent of flights to/from Paris Orly were cancelled for the day, while 30% of flights were cancelled at Paris Charles de Gaulle and regional airports. Most cancellations were on short and medium-haul domestic and inter-European flights (Associated Press, 19-Oct-2010). Flights were expected to return to normal on 20-Oct-2010. Protesters also blocked entrances at Bordeaux Airport for several hours during the day. It was the sixth day of nationwide strike action against the French Government’s pension reform plans since Jun-2010. The French Senate is to vote on the proposal this week (Bloomberg, 19-Oct-2010). The country’s eight major unions plan to meet on 21-Oct-2010 to discuss how to continue their action. Cardiff Airport warned (19-Oct-2010) of potential delays for services to France. [more - Cardiff Airport]
French union calls for airport staff to continue strike on 20-Oct-2010
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One swallow does not make a spring and nor does a rash of aviation strike news guarantee a turning point for the aviation industry. But the signs are ominous. In the month of Jun-2016 (to 20-Jun-2016), there have been 136 articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. This compares with 81 for the first 20 days of Jun-2015. For 2016 so far (1-Jan-2016 to 20-Jun-2016), the 's' word has occurred in 594 articles – about 20% more than in the same period in each of the past two years. If this rate continues, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis.
The vast majority of the Jun-2016 articles – 80% – relate to Europe. A significant source is air traffic control disputes, particularly French ATC. There have also been strikes and/or strike threats involving airport workers and ground handlers. Among European airlines, Air France has generated the most coverage for its ongoing dispute with its pilots, and it may also face a cabin crew strike. Lufthansa has not yet faced a strike by its employees this year, but has not yet reached new agreements with pilots or cabin crew after industrial action last year.
History tells us that labour's demands grow as profits rise. The apparent increase in industrial action this year could be a signal of an approaching peak in the airline profit cycle. There are other causes of unrest, such as impending French labour legislation, but the correlation reflects some history.
Air France-KLM: long haul low cost airline could be part of new CEO's vision as French Blue enters
Air France-KLM chairman and CEO, Jean-Marc Janaillac, who took charge in Jul-2016, has talked about the possibility of launching long haul low cost operations (Bloomberg/luchtvaartnieuws.nl, 20-Sep-2016).
If Air France-KLM were to enter this segment it would be the second of Europe's big three legacy airline groups to do so, after the Lufthansa Group. Ironically, there is no long haul low cost competition to Lufthansa in Germany. By contrast, IAG faces more such competitors in the UK than either of its two major rival groups in their largest home market, but currently has no plan for such an operator.
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