Air France estimates strike cost at 500 million euros
Taking into account the lost revenue during the strike and the knock-on impact of disgruntled passengers staying away in future, the impact over 2014 will be "in the order of 500 million euros", said financial director Pierre-Francois Riolacci.
"We need a few more days to finalise completely our estimates. But we think the impact on the third quarter will be in a range of 320-350 million euros." He warned the knock-on consequences were harder to put a figure on but said there would be an impact both on the last quarter of the year and the first part of next year as Air France, Europe's second-largest airline, battles to win back its reputation.
"We made some savings (like in aviation fuel) because the planes were not flying. "On the other hand, we had additional costs: putting passengers up, compensation or buying tickets from our competitors for some of our passengers, which we did not always get at the best price," Pierre-Francois Riolacci said.
Pilots at Air France waged the longest strike in the company's history between September 15 and 28 in protest at the group's plans to expand its low-cost subsidiary Transavia France.
The airline sees the development of Transavia France as crucial to compete in the world of aviation but the pilots are worried their flights could be replaced by Transavia services or that the company would seek to use the cheaper Transavia pilots. ■