French air traffic control strike

Possible disruption from Sunday evening

French air traffic control tower

SchengenVisaInfo reports that several airports across France have been asked to cancel flights in an effort to prevent flight disruptions air traffic controllers warned of a strike for Monday, May 1, protesting the pension reform proposal. The industrial action is expected to impact not only flights operated by local airlines but also those passing over the country’s airspace.

According to civil aviation authorities in France, Charles de Gaulle, Beauvais, Paris’ Orly, airports as well as Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nantes and Nice, are expected to be impacted by the strike, with those that aren’t taking off or landing in France also being affected.

French protesters will once again start industrial action over the increase in the pension age from 62 to 64, and most unions are urging people to take to the streets on Monday to protest President Macron’s proposal over the pension age.

Authorities warn that the strike will cause disruption from Sunday evening, April 30, until the early morning of Tuesday, May 2. Euronews also reports that several French airlines have been asked to cancel their flights entirely.

3,700 flights pass through French airspace daily

Around 3,300 flights take off or land in France on a daily basis, and another 3,700 pass through the country’s airspace. Due to the central European location, the number of flights that pass over France is quite high, and these ‘overflights’ are also affected when French air traffic controllers go on strike.

Data from Eurocontrol, the EU Organisation of Air Safety and Navigation, reveals that between March 1 and April 9, a share of 15 per cent of flights in Spain were delayed – the majority of which were overflights, while cancellations increased by 63 per cent.

French air traffic control strike 1

In addition to Spain, Germany, Italy, and the UK experienced a 15 per cent share of flight cancellations, the majority of which, again, were overflights.

10 million passengers affected by air traffic control strikes in April

Over ten million passengers were hit with delays or cancellations due to the strikes that were recorded in April. Around half of these passengers are likely to have been on a flight that passed through French air space.

According to EasyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren, the air traffic controller strike is expected to impact travel to the zone, and he called on authorities to tackle the issue, warning that tourists could be off to other destinations, likely outside Europe.

As previously mentioned here, flights from the UK to/from Madeira are not normally directly affected by French air traffic control strikes as the can skirt around French air space quite easily. However, as usual, connections can be affected and planes end up out of position.

Leave a comment

Translate »