PARIS (Reuters) - Air France, facing deepening turmoil over a dispute with staff over pay, said on Sunday it expected to operate close to 85 percent of flights during strike disruptions on May 7.

The empty podium is seen after Jean-Marc Janaillac, Chief Executive Officer of Air France-KLM Group, attended a news conference to announce his resignation in Paris, France, May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The carrier is in a stand-off with employees which on Friday prompted Air France-KLM CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac to step down, after staff rejected a pay rise proposal.

Unions said they would be sticking with plans to strike on May 7 and May 8.

“Air France deplores the decision to go ahead with the strikes as we enter a period that will enable negotiations to continue in order to put an end to it,” the airline said in a statement, referring to a looming period of interim management.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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