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Air France to cancel more flights Friday

A flight departure screen at Orly airport during one of last month's strikes
A flight departure screen at Orly airport during one of last month's strikes REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Air France said it would cancel 25 percent of its flights on Friday, the 13th day of a staggered strike that started in February.

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After falling on Thursday, the number of strikers was expected to rise again on Friday, the second of a two-day stoppage that is part of a rolling programme of industrial action.

With 21.5 percent of pilots on strike, compared to 18.8 percent on Thursday, along with 17.1 percent of cabing crews and 12.5 percent of ground staff, the company said it would have to cancel 20 percent of long-haul flights, 35 percent of medium-haul to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle and 20 percent of short-haul flights.

The declarations of intent to strike, obligatory for transport workers under French law, show a rise compared to Thursday but not a return to the 33 percent who stopped work on its first day.

Friday also sees the last day of voting in a referendum of all employees on the company's offer of a seven percent pay rise over four years.

Air France president Jean-Marc Janaillac has staked his job on acceptance.

The 11 unions who backed the strike call want 5.1 percent rises, starting this year.

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