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Despite the French state owns 14.3% of the Air France-KLM parent company, the aircraft would not be salvaged, he said.

Jean-Marc Janaillac, CEO of Air France-KLM Group, attends a news conference in Paris on May 4, 2018.

Unionised staff walked out for the 14th day on Monday as they press for a 5.1-percent salary increase this year as the company recovers from years of losses and restructuring.

Mr Janaillac is not the first Air France executive to suffer at the hands of its unions.

Shares in Air France-KLM fell sharply on Monday morning following the shock resignation of its chief executive over a pay dispute with staff and the French government's rejection of a bailout for the airline.

Air France warned that industrial action would continue to affect its services today and tomorrow.

Air France reported Friday that it lost $320 million in the first quarter of 2018, adding that the strike will lead to at least $330 million more in lost revenue through the end of the year.

"I will not explain to the French that we will.absorb the losses of Air France while Air France does not make the necessary competitive efforts to be at the same level as its major European competitor".

The Air France passenger website has warned customers that despite presenting an up-to-date flight schedule earlier Monday with 80% of all planned flights still expected to operate, late cancellations due to the strike action could still occur.

Air France shares have gone into a tailspin on the Paris stock exchange today amid warnings the strike-hit company could "disappear".

After a protracted financial slump, Air France-KLM profits climbed previous year as it expanded its global alliances and launched a new budget airline.

The airline announced Monday that almost 85 percent of its flights would operate, including 99 percent of its long-haul flights.

A wave of strikes at Air France has so far cost the company 300 million euros.

Others, including the more moderate CFDT union, which had urged Air France to back management's pay proposal, warned that "dialogue was blocked" and said the SNPL was too inflexible.

The government's response is seen as a test of labour reforms launched by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Janaillac will formally resign at a Board of Directors' meeting on May 9, the company said, adding that "it will be their responsibility to take the appropriate measures to ensure the continuity of the group and Air France during the transition period".