Air France-KLM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jean-Marc Janaillac has offered to resign after employees rejected a pay raise.
The 65-year-old CEO announced his resignation on Friday making good on an earlier promise to step down if he failed to end the weeks-long strikes.
Staff and management at the flagship carrier have been locked in a wage dispute since February.
“I accept the consequences,” said Janaillac after 55.44 percent of Air France workers voted against a seven percent over a four-year pay raise.
Janaillac described the workers’ decision as a “huge waste” of resources after revealing last month that the industrial action cost Air France 25 million euros per day.
The decision came as workers began a fresh round of intermittent strikes Friday, prompting the cancellation of a quarter of flights on average.
“Air France was on the road to success. I regret that that dynamic was not understood (by workers),” he said.
Unions argued the raise was too little after years of restructuring during which pay was frozen, and demanded a 5.1-percent raise this year instead.
The move coincided with Air France-KLM’s release of first-quarter earnings, which showed a net loss of 269 million euros ($322 million), weighed down by three days of strikes which cost about 25 million euros per day according to the company.
The industrial action by Air France personnel comes amid persisting rolling strikes by rail workers at state-owned SNCF railways, as well as protests by students, public servants, energy workers, and garbage collectors.