Paris: Air France-KLM boss Jean-Marc Janaillac announced his resignation Friday after staff at the carrier´s French operations rejected a pay deal aimed at ending months of walkouts.
"I accept the consequences of this vote and will tender my resignation to the boards of Air France and Air France-KLM in coming days", said Janaillac after 55.44 percent of Air France workers voted against accepting a pay rise of seven percent over four years.
Which leads to the next question: Do Air France employees seriously not understand that their company is on a path, if not to disaster (see Alitalia), then at least to the next big European airline consolidation?
The industrial action has cost the Franco-Dutch alliance millions of euros.
They have been demanding a 5.1% increase in 2018 instead - in a dispute that began in February. Prior to the vote, Janaillac said it would be hard for him to remain CEO if staff rejected the pay offer.
Air France-KLM (OTCMKTS:AFLYY) was downgraded by research analysts at ValuEngine from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.
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This table compares Air France-KLM and its rivals' net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
Labour reforms launched by French President Emmanuel Macron have also led to strikes by employees of the state-owned SNCF rail company.
Flag-carrying rivals British Airways and Lufthansa have already undergone painful cost-cutting in recent years as they battled to compete with the rise of low-priced carriers in Europe and new competition from Gulf carriers.
On Sunday, Mr Le Maire told French news channel BFM: "I call on everyone to be responsible: crew, ground staff, and pilots who are asking for unjustified pay hikes". The joint company flies tens of millions of passengers around the world every year.
"That has been proved in the cases of the turnarounds achieved by Iberia and British Airways".