During a press conference on May 4, 2018, Janaillac said the vote was a major setback for the company which has been battling with strikes and high labour costs for a long time. It will also “put a big smile on the faces of competitors”, he said.
The carrier had offered a 2% salary raise this year and a further 5% increase over the next three years against unions’ demands for a 5% raise this year alone.
Air France’s stock plunged 12.5% on the start of trading on Monday, May 7.
Janaillac’s predecessor, Alexandre de Juniac, had also struggled to reform the company’s labour agreements before quitting in 2016 to join the IATA as its Director General and CEO. In 2015, de Juniac together with a number of high-level Air France executives only narrowly escaped a full-on physical confrontation with a mob of disgruntled employees.