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Grounded

Air France cancels 50 percent of its Monday flights ahead of pilot strike

Air France said today it will reduce its Monday flights by about 50 percent, in anticipation of company pilots' week-long strike.

"We ask (the passengers), if possible, to change their tickets to avoid this period, which is a little uncertain," Francois Gagey, Air France's chief executive, said. Gagey added that the strike will cost Europe's second-largest airline millions each day.

Pilots are striking over Air France's plan to expand "Transavia," a discount unit that aims to compete with lower-cost Middle East carriers. The pilots' union is upset over the company's refusal to honor identical labor contracts for employees who could be transferred to the budget airline.