Air France-KLM chairman steps down after staff reject pay deal

Jean-Marc Janaillac had said he would be "personally accountable"

Air France-KLM chairman steps down after staff reject pay deal

An Air France 777-200 is seen on take-off | Image: Air France

The chairman of Air France-KLM has stepped down, after staff rejected a proposed pay agreement.

A ballot of workers saw it rejected by 55.4%, with a participation rate of 80.3%

Jean-Marc Janaillac had called for the ballot to try and end strike action at the company.

It comes just a day after the airline group announced it carried 22 million passengers so far this year, up 5.2%.

While revenue was also up slightly, it warned that strikes have weighed on the economic performance of the group.

Air France-KLM has faced nine days of strikes over pay demands since February.

Following negotiations, and to put an end to the disruption, management drafted a final multi-year pay proposal for a 7% wage increase over four years.

Jean-Marc Janaillac | Image: Air France

The carrier said this agreement was based on a "growth pact for the future".

To date, Air France-KLM says the estimated cost of this conflict is over €220m.

To find a solution, Mr Janaillac launched a consultation with all staff on April 20th.

Speaking at the time, he said: "Air France must emerge from this impasse.

"In the face of such a severe situation and because the company’s future could be under threat, I have decided to launch this consultation with all staff who over several years have been fully committed to improving Air France's competitiveness.

"I cannot accept the disaster unfolding whereas a large majority of staff are not taking part in the strike action.

"Therefore, to put an end to this disaster and re-affirm the entire company's commitment to the growth dynamic, I am calling on everyone to make their voices heard.

"I will be personally accountable for the consequences of this vote".

Air France operates flights to more than 320 destinations and 118 countries.

The group is one of the world's largest air carriers by revenue and passengers.