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Take rubbish with you, Air France tells passengers

AIR France will ask passengers to clear their seats and take their rubbish with them when leaving the plane, as the carrier seeks to cut costs and stem the advance of EasyJet and Ryanair in its home market.

Paris-based Air France is working on the plan after cabin crew refused to assume cleaning duties at a low-cost operation it is introducing in a push to claw back traffic at provincial airports.

Air France chief Pierre-Henri Gourgeon wants to eliminate ground-based cleaners to keep jets flying longer, emulating discount rivals and rendering hitherto-unprofitable regional hubs viable.

Union wrangles have already forced one of four planned bases to be abandoned.

Ryanair isn't worried about Mr Gourgeon's plan and regards Air France's strategy as "hopeless".

"No flag-carrier in the history of aviation has ever succeeded in rolling out a real low-fares airline," said Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary.

Air France's share of domestic and international traffic fell from 39pc in 2002, when Luton-based EasyJet opened its first French base, to 34pc in 2009, the most recent year for which a breakdown is available. (© Bloomberg)

Irish Independent