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Air France shares nosedive after CEO bails

Air France shares nosedive after CEO bails

Despite the French state owns 14.3% of the Air France-KLM parent company, the aircraft would not be salvaged, he said.

The share price woes follow the resignation on Friday evening of Air France-KLM chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac after workers rejected the company's latest wage proposal.

On Monday, unionized staff are set to walk out for the 14th day as they press for a 5.1-percent salary increase this year.

The Air France-KLM board asked Mr Janaillac to stay on until May 15 when it will put a transitional leadership in place.

On Monday, the price of the shares of Air France dived as the CEO of the company did quit and the French Government warned the country's flagship carrier might collapse.

The stock dropped as much as 13 per cent, the most in nearly two years.

"Be responsible. The survival of Air France is in the balance", he added.

In the wake of the rejection of Janaillac's pay deal to Air France staff, a two-day strike over May 7 and 8 has gone ahead.

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He also oversaw the launch of Joon, a low cost subsidiary of Air France, and growth in its maintenance business.

'Air France will disappear if it does not make the necessary efforts to be competitive, ' he warned.

Regardless of the strike, the carrier demanded that it is ready to keep up 99% of whole deal flights on Monday, 80% of medium-pull administrations and 87% of short-pull flights.

"I call on everyone to be responsible: crew, ground staff, and pilots who are asking for unjustified pay hikes", Bruno Le Maire told the BFM news channel on Sunday. Strikes have already cost the company €300 million.

Others, including the more moderate CFDT union, which had urged Air France to back management's pay proposal, warned that "dialogue was blocked" and said the SNPL was too inflexible. The industrial dispute come as separate strikes over Mr Macron's labour reforms are hitting France's national railways.

Unions want a 5.1% pay rise this year, arguing that their wages have been frozen since 2011 amid restructuring and noting that the company's profits are up.

He called for responsibility on the part of striking workers, adding the airline's survival was at stake and that the French government will not offer a bailout.


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