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Air France pilots have ended their two-week strike

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Pilots working for Air France have called off their two-week strike that has cost the airline more than €280 million ($355 million), despite the fact the SNPL union and the airline have still been unable to reach an agreement over a dispute about the  Paris-based carrier’s plans to expand its low-cost subsidiary, Transavia.

A spokesman for the union said the strike was coming to an end so that the negotiations with the company’s managers could “continue in a calmer climate”. The pilots launched their strike in an attempt to force Air France’s parent company, Air France-KLM, to revise its plans to expand Transavia, the company’s low-cost brand, out of fear that the project would erode their own pay.

However, the union came under increasing pressure to resume working, with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls denouncing their “egotism”. A spokesman for the SNPL said on Sunday that it’s their “duty as union representatives to know when to end a strike, when we know there will not be any progress.”

Once the strike was called off, Air France announced its plans to speed up the development of Transavia, which is believed to be vital for the company’s well-being at a time when Europe is becoming increasingly dominated by low-cost airlines. Air France said in a statement that the “ending of the conflict reinforces the company’s determination to makes its economic model evolve in order to cement its leadership.”

Read more about the story at The New York Times.

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