Air France strikes continue; 80% of flights to operate May 8

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Le Maire also warned that the state - which owns 14.3 percent of the group - would not serve as a backstop.

Air France shares continued on their downward spiral today following the shock resignation of CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac over the weekend.

Unionised staff are set to walk out for the 14th day on Monday as they press for a 5.1 percent salary increase this year as the company recovers from years of losses and restructuring. But over at Air France, that well-oiled worker conflict played out in a decidedly more retro fashion.

Air France-KLM shares suffered their biggest one-day fall in a decade on Monday after its chief executive said he would resign following the rejection of a pay deal by the airline's staff. Air France stock was down almost 13 per cent at 7.08 euros today.

He added: "The challenge is the survival of Air France, the development of a company to which we are all attached".

He also said that the French government, which owns 14.3% of the Air France-KLM holding company, would not provide the carrier with a bailout, according to BFMTV.

On April 26, the management of Air France published a proposal for its employees, subject to an online vote.

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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.

After negotiations reached deadlock, Janaillac called a vote last Friday, the results of which went against him.

"I will not explain to the French that we will.absorb the losses of Air France while Air France does not make the necessary competitive efforts to be at the same level as its major European competitor". It estimates the industrial action has so far cost it 300 million euros ($357 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.

France's finance minister has warned that the survival of strike-hit Air France was in the balance following the departure of the company's chief executive over a pay dispute.

This is in sharp contrast to its performance previous year, when the shares rose 160 percent as Janaillac initiated reforms to restructure and improve the finances of its French brand, said Roche Brune Asset Management's Laverne.

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