Unions representing Air France cabin crew have called for employees to strike during the country’s peak holiday period. The four days of planned action, set to start at the end of the month, could cause chaos as holidaymakers either set off or return from their annual breaks.

The French carrier is facing increasing pressure from budget airlines as travellers look hard for the best deals on the market. It is therefore planning to gain a foothold with short and medium-haul flights, which would cause work for flight attendants at regional hubs to be increased.

Both the CGT and the CFDT unions, among several others, are backing the strikes between July 29 and August 1. In a statement, the group said that the carrier’s cabin crew are already working to full capacity and refuse to be made the “victims of productivity”. They added that the majority of staff members claim to be overworked as it is.

Marseille is to offer the first regional connection for Air France, starting from October. The airline, however, is planning another three by next year, offering local and international flights from Nice, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Air France is the latest Europe airline to announce that it is losing out to budget carriers, as passengers worldwide struggle with the economic recession and increased taxes. UK flag carrier British Airways has only just reached an agreement with its cabin crew after a year of costly and disruptive strikes over job and pay cuts.