Air France pilot strike cancels up to 30% of Saturday flights

Aircraft at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport are seen in this photo from Nov. 20, 2009.

PARIS (AP) — Air France says it’s canceling 20%-30% of its flights on Saturday, day two of the European soccer championship, because of a pilots’ strike.

CEO Frederic Gagey told reporters on Thursday that the company offered a new proposal in a long-running dispute over working conditions, but unions rejected it.

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Pilots unions have called for a strike Saturday to Tuesday, coinciding with the starting matches of the month-long European Championship soccer tournament featuring games in cities around France.

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Gagey said the airline would work to limit the impact on traveling soccer fans — but said Air France can only guarantee 70% to 80% of flights worldwide Saturday.

Strikes in other sectors by unions angry at a labor reform bill may make for a bumpy start to the event.

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