€20 UK-France flights and 5 other France travel updates

€20 UK-France flights and 5 other France travel updates

Our round-up also looks at the new law limiting French air traffic control strikes, new Transavia hand-luggage fees and free public transport in Occitanie

Clockwise from top left: EasyJet sale, air traffic controller strikes limited, TGVs in Milan and free liO trains in Occitanie

You might have seen our recent articles on the new rules for drivers in 2024, the travel disruption caused by snow and ice, and whether French airlines use the same model of Boeing that lost its door mid-flight.

Air travel updates:

French air traffic controllers must give at least two days’ notice before strikes

A new law mandates that all staff “whose absence is likely to have a direct impact on the flight operation” must declare their participation no later than noon two days before the strike.

Despite the opposition of air traffic controllers, who ironically went on strike over the law on December 17 without giving two days’ notice, the new rules now apply.

Read more: French MPs move to stop last-minute air traffic controller strikes

The then-Minister of Transport Clément Beaune said in December that the measure was “an essential sign of progress for air travellers and companies, while respecting the right to strike, which is protected by the Constitution.”

Air travel in France was disrupted many times in 2023 by both national and local air traffic controller strikes.

In April, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren described French air traffic control strikes as “quite unacceptable”.

Transavia to start charging passengers for hand luggage

The Air France subsidiary, which flies from Edinburgh and Dublin, was the last of the low-cost airlines to offer standard-size free hand luggage (56 x 45 x 25), which is larger than the size permitted for free on EasyJet (45 x 36 x 20)

Transavia CEO Olivier Mazzucchelli announced that this would change in 2024 in an interview with Le Figaro on January 11.

He also said that Transavia will be upgrading its fleet with the delivery of 81 Airbus A320neo aircraft over the course of the year. The first of these aircraft have already been delivered and will start flying on the Paris Orly-Porto route from January 15.

Ryanair faces aircraft shortage in summer due to Boeing delivery delays

Ryanair’s summer programme faces disruption due to Boeing’s delayed delivery of 737 MAX 8-200 aircraft.

The low-cost airline, which had to cancel many flights over the Christmas holidays due to the delivery problems, expects the disruption to last until after the summer.

“We were supposed to have 27 aircraft delivered prior to Christmas, we finished up getting 11,” Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary told the FT.

“We’re supposed to have 57 aircraft delivered to us by the end of April, and we think we’d be lucky to get 50 by the end of June. So we’re going to be left five, seven, maybe 10 aircraft short for the peak summer season this year,” he said

Ryanair has yet to announce which routes may be affected.

EasyJet offers 20% off selected flights

The low-cost airline is offering a 20% discount on selected flights as part of its so-called ‘Big Orange Sale’.

The offer applies to flights between January and November booked before February 5. It features many flights from the UK, including:

  • Liverpool to Nice, Paris or Lyon for €20
  • London Gatwick to Nantes, Toulouse or Montpellier for €25
  • Birmingham to Lyon for €25

The sale also includes discounts on holiday packages, with £100 off holidays over £800, £150 off holidays over £1,500 and £300 off holidays over £3,000.

Rail travel updates:

TGVs to Italy resume after months of disruption following the landslide in Savoie

A limited service started again on January 10, however replacement buses are necessary for a stretch of the track that is still unusable.

Passengers to Turin and Milan can travel by TGV from Paris to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, where they board a replacement bus to Oulx then take another TGV to their destination.

The service, which operates with one TGV a day, now takes eight hours 22 minutes, rather than seven or six hours prior to the landslide.

Read more: Watch: landslide closes major train route from France into Italy

No date has been set for the full service to resume.

More than 100,000 young people have signed up for free public transport in Occitanie

Buses and trains are free for people aged between 12 and 26 in Occitanie since December 22 on the liO regional network.

This is in addition to the free public transport in Montpellier, which started on December 21.

Read more: Montpellier makes all public transport free for residents

By January 9, 110,000 young people had already signed up, said the president of the Occitanie regional council, Carole Delga.

People who wish to benefit from the free public transport must have a liO travel card, either for school or a young person’s card, which are both available here.

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