Air France-KLM in deal with Dutch pilots, averting possible strike action

An Air France airplane takes off at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, August 26, 2018. Picture taken August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands pilots’ union said on Tuesday it has reached agreement on a new deal with Air France-KLM over working hours, removing the threat of strike action later this year.

The airline, which has been hard hit by strike actions by its French employees, appointed a new CEO on Aug. 17 to steer the group through a fraught stand-off with unions in France.

The following day it was warned by Dutch pilots they would consider strike action later this year unless the airline begins hiring new staff more aggressively to ease their workload and give them sufficient rest between flights.

The Dutch union said on Tuesday that a mediator had helped union leaders reach a compromise with KLM’s management under which longer rest periods will go into effect earlier than planned.

The deal must still be approved by members, but the union said it will not proceed with strike preparations.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Susan Fenton