French ATC strike causes cancellations and delays

French ATC strike causes cancellations and delays

European airline passengers are suffering disruption on Monday (20 November) due to the latest strike by French air traffic control workers.

The industrial action started at 6pm local time on Sunday and will continue until 6am on Tuesday (21 November). Workers are protesting against a new law requiring them to declare their plans to strike at least 48 hours before they walk out.

The French civil aviation authority (DGAC) has told carriers to cut their normal schedules by 25 per cent at Paris-Orly and Toulouse airports, and by 20 per cent at Bordeaux and Marseille. There is also expected to be disruption at other French airports.

Airlines such as British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Iberia have had to cancel some short-haul services, including overflights to non-French destinations.

“We expect that there will be delays and some disruption due to the industrial action,” said easyJet in a statement.

“Although this situation is outside of our control, we would like to reassure customers that we are doing all we can to minimise any disruption to our flights that may occur as a result of the strike action.”

Ryanair called the impact of the latest ATC strike in France “completely unacceptable” and urged the European Union to take action to protect overflights during industrial action.

“Despite repeated calls on [European Commission president] Ursula von der Leyen to protect passengers and overflights during these ATC strikes, she has failed to take any action to do so,” said a Ryanair spokesperson. 

“We have no problem with French ATC unions exercising their right to strike, but the EU Commission should insist that cancellations due to French ATC strikes are allocated to French flights, not those overflying France en route to another unrelated EU destination.” 

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