January 30, 2020 / 11:10 AM / 19 days ago

Air France cabin crews demand halt to China flights -sources

PARIS, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Cabin crew unions at Air France have demanded that the carrier stop flying to China, staff representatives told Reuters, amid concern that the flights may expose employees to the coronavirus and help spread infections.

The main Air France flight attendants’ unions asked managers at a meeting on Wednesday to end the flights, according to officials at UNAC and SNPNC, two of the four biggest groupings.

Asked to comment on the situation, a spokesman for Air France-KLM said: “Air France is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation in real time. The health and safety of its crew remain the absolute priority.”

While European rivals including Lufthansa and British Airways have already suspended China operations, Air France and Dutch stablemate KLM have maintained services on a reduced schedule reflecting a slump in demand.

The cabin staff call for a halt to Air France Beijing and Shanghai services was due to be discussed at a works council on Thursday with the support of at least one pilots’ union, SPAF, which has called separately for the flights to cease.

Air France has already put in place a voluntary regime, allowing pilots and crew to opt out of China flights. (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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