Air travel crippled by French controller strike

Eurocontrol, the European network manager, is warning of serious delays as French air traffic control unions called for a 24-hour strike ending Wednesday morning to demand higher pay and pensions.

The Brusssels-based agency said: “Due to ATC industrial action, there are many regulations applied throughout the French area control centres (ACC). All five ACCs have sector and aerodrome regulations applied. The delays are, obviously, very high.”

“The situation is expected to remain serious throughout the day. In order to help avoid the strike area, T9 and T213 are available northbound and southbound. All other mitigation actions are being taken by Network Manager operations centre to reduce the impact as much as possible.”

The French civil aviation authority DGAC yesterday called airlines to cancel one in five flights as a preventive measure ahead of the strike.

Air France said it would operate all of its long-haul flights and more than 80 per cent of its short- and medium-haul flights in France and elsewhere in Europe, but that last-minute delays or cancellations could not be ruled out.”

easyJet warned its passengers that access to Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, as well as those of Toulouse, Marseille and Bordeaux, could be greatly disrupted. easyJet said it had cancelled 35 flights, mainly within France but also to or from Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

The controllers’ unions want to be exempted from proposed changes to how salaries are calculated. They also denounce the loss of some 1,000 jobs in less than 10 years.

 

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