Air France-KLM shares drop following chief's resignation

Iraq says its warplanes targeted IS jihadists in Syria

Air France's share price dived Monday after its CEO quit and the French government warned that the country's flagship carrier might collapse. But over at Air France, that well-oiled worker conflict played out in a decidedly more retro fashion. Air France stock was down almost 13 per cent at 7.08 euros today.

Strikes are also continuing to disrupt rail travel this week.

On Friday, Jean-Marc Janaillac, chief executive of parent company Air France-KLM, resigned after staff rejected a final pay offer from him, which would have raised wages by 7% over four years.

Bruno Le Maire's warning that Air France could "disappear" comes as staff begin another round of industrial action over a pay dispute.

Air France had offered workers a salary increase of 2 percent in 2018 and a further 5 percent over the following three years, but French unions, which have demanded 5.1 percent this year, have complained management is not serious about talks.

On Sunday, Mr. Le Maire disclosed to French news channel BFM: "I approach everybody to be mindful: group, ground staff, and pilots who are requesting unjustified pay climbs".

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

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British Airways and Lufthansa have already undergone heavy cost-cutting in recent years, amid rising competition from low-priced airlines and carriers from the Gulf states.

The Air France passenger website has warned customers that despite presenting an up-to-date flight schedule earlier Monday with 80% of all planned flights still expected to operate, late cancellations due to the strike action could still occur.

The government's response is seen as a test of labour reforms launched by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The CEO of Air France, Franck Terner, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the company.

The strikes had already cost the airline about €300m and pushed its first-quarter results to a €118m loss despite KLM making a €60m profit.

The government over the weekend said the French state, the largest shareholder with a 14 per cent stake, would not ride to the airline's rescue.

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