Air France reaches pay deal with ground staff

The labor deal provided for an increase of 2 percent for 2019 for all Air France employees. (Reuters)
Updated 11 January 2019
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Air France reaches pay deal with ground staff

  • The airline was hit by a series of costly strikes in 2018
  • The strikes led to the departure of chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac in May and his replacement by former Air Canada executive Ben Smith

Air France said on Friday it had reached a pay agreement for 2019 with unions representing ground staff, as it seeks to move on from labor disputes which weighed on its results last year.
The deal will provide for pay increases of 1.8 percent, as well as money to finance individual bonuses and measures to make the payment of overtime easier, Air France said.
The airline was hit by a series of costly strikes in 2018, which led to the departure of chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac in May and his replacement by former Air Canada executive Ben Smith.
On Thursday Air France announced the signing of a new agreement with cabin crew.
“Together with yesterday’s signing of the agreement with Air France cabin crew, this is proof of our dedication to re-establishing trust with all Air France employees,” Smith said in a statement.
The agreements come in addition to an agreement signed in October that drew a line under the standoff with unions. That deal provided for an increase of 2 percent for 2019 for all Air France employees.
The deal with ground staff was signed with the unions CFDT, CFE-CGC, FO and UNSA aerien Air France, the company said.


UAE passenger jet makes long haul journey on locally produced biofuel

Updated 17 January 2019
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UAE passenger jet makes long haul journey on locally produced biofuel

  • The biofuel was produced from plants grown in a local saltwater ecosystem in Abu Dhabi
  • It can be refined using existing infrastructure and used with current engines and airport fueling systems

DUBAI: Etihad Airways flew the first commercial flight powered by locally produced sustainable fuel Wednesday, Emirati airlines Etihad Airways reported on their website from an announcement by the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC).

The Boeing 787, flying from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, used biofuel produced from the oil of Salicornia plants, which are grown in the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS), in Masdar City near the UAE capital - Abu Dhabi.

The SEAS project is the world’s first desert ecosystem made specially to produce fuel and food in saltwater.

While Etihad is not the first airline to use biofuel in its aircraft, it is the first time in the UAE for the source of the biofuel to be grown and produced in the country.

“Etihad’s flight proves SEAS is a game-changer that can substantially benefit air transport and the world,” said Vice President of strategy and market development for Boeing International Sean Schwinn.

“The research and technology being developed shows significant promise to transform coastal deserts into productive farmland supporting food security and cleaner skies.”

The biofuel can be produced using existing refinery facilities, it can be blended with regular jet fuel, and used with existing aircraft, engines and airport fueling delivery systems

Biofuels were introduced for commercial flight use in 2011.

Since then nearly 160,000 passengers have flown on flights powered by a blend of sustainable and traditional jet fuels.

The water used for the SEAS project is drawn from fish and shrimp farmeries that produce food for the UAE.

The system is expected to expand to cover 2 mln square meters over the course of the next few years.