Air France has not received the union signatures it requires on a wage proposal, intended to end a damaging labour conflict, after the deadline expired.
In response it has opted to launch a staff consultation – via an electronic vote – which will commence on 26 April and end in early May. The carrier is inviting all company staff to give their opinion on an agreement proposed on 16 April.
It says the carrier's management drafted the pay proposal, covering a 7% wage increase over four years, after a series of negotiations.
But Air France states that the deadline for acceptance passed at 12:00 on 20 April, and that it has "not received the majority signatures required".
Chairman Jean-Marc Janaillac says the airline "must emerge from this impasse".
"In the face of such a severe situation, and because the company's future could be under threat, I have decided to launch this consultation with all staff who, over several years, have been fully committed to improving Air France's competitiveness," he says.
"I cannot accept the disaster unfolding whereas a large majority of staff are not taking part in the strike action."
Janaillac says he is prepared to be held "personally accountable" for the consequences of the vote, and is urging all employees to "make their voices heard".
Air France has put the total cost of the conflict – which has involved nine days of strikes since 22 February – at more than €220 million.