BUSINESS

Air France pilots union ends strike that has grounded flights worldwide for 14 days

09/28/2014 12:59 EDT | Updated 11/28/2014 05:59 EST
PARIS - Air France's leading pilots union on Sunday announced an end to its 14-day strike that grounded roughly half of the airline's flights, stranded passengers worldwide and led to stern shows of frustration by the French prime minister.

The SNPL union told The Associated Press in a text message that the strike was over. A spokesman said he was unable to immediately provide further details, but confirmed that the union believed conditions were still not in place for proper dialogue between the pilots and Air France management to overcome problems leading to the strike.

Air France declined immediate comment.

The strike's end comes after Air France offered Wednesday to scrap a central part of a plan to shift most of its European operations to low-cost carrier Transavia.

The plan prompted the strike, because pilots see it as a way to outsource their jobs to countries with lower taxes and labour costs. Air France wants to restructure to stay competitive.

Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls chimed in during the walkout, and spoke out against the protesters by saying the strike endangered the flag carrier, had "no reason," was incomprehensible to the French people and gave France a "bad image."

Parent company Air France-KLM said previously that the walkout was costing up to 20 million euros ($25 million) a day.