Published on : Saturday, March 4, 2017
A French air traffic control union has lodged a four day strike warning with aviation authorities that could see up to a third of flights delayed or cancelled at airports around the France, including Paris.
Tens of thousands passengers are likely to be affected by the strike.
The industrial action starting on Monday involves members of a small union, ICNA, working at air-traffic control centres in Bordeaux, Brest and Aix-en-Provence.
Airport workers are planning to walk out from the morning of Monday 6th March to the evening of Friday 10th March, which will affect flights using southern and western France airspace, including many flights departing from the UK for the likes of Spain and Portugal too.
An EasyJet spokesperson said that, like all airlines, their flights to and from French airports, as well as those flying in French airspace, might be affected. He also said that, if the strike continues, their customers will be informed via email and SMS.
Monarch Airlines said that there may well be disruptions, but they plan to operate a full schedule amd they have advised their customers to check-in online where they can, or arrive at the airport in plenty of time to check their flights.
Eurocontrol in Brussels says the Brest and Bordeaux control centres will be affected from 5am on Monday until 7pm on Friday, with the action in the south of France running from 5am on Tuesday until 5am on Friday.
Flights serving the main Paris airports – Charles de Gaulle and Orly – are likely to be affected, along with Toulouse, Beauvais and Nantes. A much wider impact will be felt, though, on services overflying France, including links from the UK and Italy, Switzerland and Spain.
Plans are already in hand to re-route many flights away from France, but changing flight plans puts extra pressure on busy areas such as southern England, the eastern Atlantic and northern Spain.
Last year, a long-running dispute between the government and a range of air traffic control unions over staffing and pay led to bouts of strike action over the year. The summer was hugely disrupted, with a raft of flights being cancelled.