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Strikes buffet profits at Air France-KLM

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Paris (AFP)

A wave of strikes battered earnings at Air France-KLM in the second quarter, but higher passenger numbers meant the group stayed in the black, it said Wednesday.

The Franco-Dutch company estimated the cost of the 15 days of strikes between February and June at 335 million euros ($391 million).

The bitter dispute over salaries led to the resignation in May of CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac.

The group reported net profits of 109 million euros for the period of April to June. That was down sharply from 593 million for the same period last year, although that figure was boosted by new accounting rules.

In just the second quarter, the impact of the strikes was estimated at around 260 million euros.

Passengers numbers edged up 0.8 percent to 26 million. It also benefited from improved unit revenue, which allowed it to maintain net sales stable at 6.6 billion euros.

Janaillac had gambled his job on calling a vote among Air France staff on whether to accept a seven percent pay rise over four years, saying he would quit if it was rejected.

He announced his resignation on May 4 after 55.44 percent voted against the deal.

Janaillac's successor is expected to be named in September.

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