Air France staff went on strike on Friday (March 30) for the third time in a month, forcing the airline to cancel a quarter of all flights as multiple industrial disputes weigh on President Emmanuel Macron's workload.

Lawyers were also set to strike nationwide Friday against reforms that they say will over-centralise France's court system, while staff at state rail operator SNCF will begin three months of rolling strikes next week.

Refuse collectors are also set to go on strike from April 3 demanding the creation of a national waste service, creating a headache for Macron who has so far avoided the mass industrial action suffered by his predecessor Francois Hollande.

Some 32 per cent of Air France pilots were set to join the walkout on Friday along with 28 percent of cabin crew and 20 per cent of ground staff, according to company estimates.

Eleven trade unions have already staged two strikes on Feb 22 and Mar 23 seeking a six percent salary hike, with two more planned on Apr 3 and Apr 7.

Unions argue the airline should share the wealth with its staff after strong results last year, but management insist they cannot offer higher salaries without jeopardising growth in an intensely competitive sector.

Air France is set to bring in a 0.6 per cent pay rise from April 1 and 0.4 per cent from October 1, along with bonuses and promotions equivalent to a 1.4 per cent raise for ground staff.

CEO Franck Terner insisted Thursday that with operating profits of nearly 590 million euros (US$727 million) last year, only 200 million euros can be set aside for boosting salaries.

An Air France spokesman said the airline was running 76 per cent of planned flights on Friday, including 80 per cent of long-haul departures.

But at some French airports, such as Nice, as many as half of Air France flights were cancelled.