Air France crisis deepens as both sides refuse to budge

Pilots reject plan for low-cost arm while CEO presses ahead

[PARIS] A bitter Air France labour dispute has deepened as management pledged to press ahead with its low-cost airline ambitions and pilots said that an eight day-old strike over the proposals would continue indefinitely as a result.

Air France's Franco-Dutch parent Air France-KLM wants to develop its own low-cost brand, Transavia, with hubs in France, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe in an attempt to maintain market share for the continent's second-largest carrier by revenue in the face of fierce competition in the sector.

However, Air France pilots fear that the move - particularly for those hubs that will hire pilots outside France - will end up eroding their pay and conditions, which...

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