Hundreds of flights set to be cancelled due to French air traffic-control strike

Published on : Wednesday, May 8, 2019

On Wednesday controllers and engineers working for DSNA, the national air navigation provider will stop work from 7pm local time on Wednesday May 8 until 6 am on Friday. Because of the French air-traffic control strike of the summer hundreds of flights were set to be cancelled and many more delayed.



In France the 35-hour stoppage is mainly due to wider national protest by public servants in France against President Macron’s plan to change their working conditions.Widespread delays and cancellations were likely as many aircraft overfly France.



A minimum service level of 50 percent of overflights were stipulated by the French authorities to those not landing or taking off in France while some flights will be able to avoid the French airspace.



Additional airspace sectors will be opened up in Switzerland that will carry some of the strain. Extra traffic will be shifted on the ‘Tango’ routes of French airspace.But as the strike progresses circuitous routes will be causing delays.



Air-traffic controllers are expected to work near-normally in the Paris Charles de Gaulle, the nation’s leading hub. It will not have cancellations directly caused by strikes at the airport.By the reduction in flights handled by Area Control Centres in France operations to and from ‘CDG’ will be impacted.



Bordeaux, Brest, Paris, Reims and Marseille are the five airspace areas in France.The Marseille Area Control Centre will face the biggest impact. It covers the southeast quadrant of France along with a large patch of the Mediterranean.



Thousands of flights were grounded at Marseille in 2018 by the strike controllers.DSNA representatives mentioned that the that four French airports – Paris Orly, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse would be particularly affected.



Controllers have high propensity at these airports to strike.The number of scheduled flights to and from these airports should be reduced by 30 per cent by the airlines.



Nantes will be hit while and Perpignan and Pau airports will be closing at night.


So far, easyJet has already cancelled 54 departures , it stated that Any customers affected by cancellation are eligible for a refund or a free of charge transfer to a new flight.Through SMS and email address the customers on the affected flights will be contacted via the details provided at the time of booking.



Around 36 flights were cancelled by the British Airways including six flights to and from Paris, four between Heathrow and Nice, and single round-trips from Heathrow to Lyon and Marseille.


Six flights between Heathrow and Barcelona has been grounded by BA along with a round trip to Geneva and Basel.



According to a British Airways spokesperson the French Air Traffic Control trade unions were causing unnecessary frustration and disruption for customers at a busy time of year.



They urged the French Government and the trade unions to resolve their issues so that customers can go on their holidays and business trips without these regular threats of strike action hanging over them.



Flexible customer options were offered to reduce the level of disruption. Larger aircraft will be used to help customers from cancelled flights go where they want.


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