Flights between UK and Spain likely to be hit as French air traffic controllers strike again


FLIGHTS: Delays and disruption expected

DELAYS and disruptions to flights between the UK and Spain are to be expected as French air traffic controllers announce they will join a general strike in the country.

As soon as the Euro Weekly News becomes aware of any confirmed cancellations or delays we will post them here…

The nationwide, general strike on Thursday, November 16 has been called from 1am until midnight and is in protest over changes to France’s labour laws.

And the USAC-CGT and CGT Air France  unions  that represent air traffic controllers have said they will join the strike. 

France’s Civil Aviation Authority has called on  airlines to reduce their flight schedules. 

All airlines are warning that flights to and from  France – and those that travel through French airspace – could be affected.

Travellers are being encouraged to check the status of their flight before departure on the day.

During the last French air traffic control strike on October 10 there was massive disruption in the skies. Ryanair cancelled more than 100 flights to or from Spain.

Europe’s largest airline association has renewed its call for  new measures to minimise the effect of French air traffic control strike action on travellers.

Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E said, “With two-thirds of all European ATC strike days taking place in France, European and French policy-makers need to implement measures capable of minimising Air Traffic Management disruption’s impact on travellers.

“More than 250 strike days since 2004 are enough – we cannot allow these well-paid air traffic controllers to restrict the rights of millions of European passengers.”

Ryanair has previously said, “President Macron’s government has announced a major transformation of French labour laws – but it appears nothing changes when it comes to air traffic control disruption and unions holding Europe to ransom.

“Enough is enough. If the French government is serious about changing France, they should start by tackling these air traffic control unions, and together with the European Commission, should take action to prevent thousands of European consumers from having their travel plans disrupted by a tiny group of ATC unions going on strike.

“They cannot stand idly by as more disruption and travel misery is inflicted upon Europe’s consumers and airlines.”

Ryanair and other airlines have repeatedly called on the commission to introduce measures which would alleviate the impact of these frequent air traffic control strikes:

• Require French air traffic control unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes
• Allow Europe’s other air traffic controllers to operate flights over France during strikes
• Protect flights over France under minimum service obligations during French air traffic control strikes

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