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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.

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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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