Air France-KLM shares drop following chief's resignation

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The carrier, formed by Air France's merger in 2004 with Dutch KLM, saw shares fall by as much as 13 per cent on Monday as investors digested Mr Janaillac's resignation, the government's stance and the strengthened position of the Air France unions.

He warned that the state, which owns 14.3 percent of the group, would not serve as a backstop.

France's economy minister on Sunday warned that the survival of Air France was now in the balance and could "disappear".

The airline said it anticipated operating 75 percent of medium-haul flights and 95 percent of long-haul services to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, and 82 percent of short-haul flights.

After a protracted financial slump, Air France-KLM profits climbed previous year as it expanded its global alliances and launched a new budget airline.

Paris: Air France shares went into a tailspin on the Paris stock exchange Monday after the strike-hit company's CEO resigned and the government seemed to worry about the carrier's very chances of survival.

In a statement on Friday, CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac said he would quit in mid-May after tens of thousands of French staff and pilots voted against a multi-year pay offer.

The stock dropped as much as 13 per cent, the most in nearly two years.

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"Air France-KLM is now without a boss and will find it hugely hard to attract a high-level manager", analysts at French brokerage Aurel-BGC said. Air France-KLM also forecast a "notably" lower income this year compared to 2017.

Janaillac warned a year ago that volatile fuel prices and geopolitical risks could threaten the company's turnaround, but didn't appear to predict the heavy toll that the strikes would take.

Shares were down almost 10 per cent as investors continued to lose faith in the airline, which has been battered by three months' worth of strikes over pay and working conditions.

Air France said Friday that rising expenses for jet fuel plus a stronger euro will add to the burden caused by a string of walkouts by staff fighting for higher wages.

Air France-KLM's board is set to announce an "interim governance solution" on May 15 following Janaillac's departure.

"If Air France does not become more competitive".

In the wake of the rejection of Janaillac's pay deal to Air France staff, a two-day strike over May 7 and 8 has gone ahead.

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