French air traffic controllers (ATCs) are set to begin a 35-hour strike from 7 p.m. May 8, the third national ATC strike in Europe this year, according to Airlines for Europe (A4E).
The strikes are part of a national public sector strike.
The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) asked airlines flying to and from several airports in France to reduce flight schedules by 30% in advance of the strike, forcing the cancellation of around 550 flights by A4E airlines, impacting around 75,000 passengers. Major delays, re-routings and further cancellations are to be expected.
Current A4E members include Aegean Airlines, airBaltic, Air France-KLM, Cargolux, UK LCC easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group of airlines, Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP Air Portugal, Czech airline Smartwings and Spain’s Volotea.
“Politicians must act immediately to protect the rights of consumers and prevent long-term damage to European economies. A4E is urging French policymakers, in particular, to improve the predictability of traffic strikes’ impact. By putting in place a 72-hour individual notification requirement for employees wishing to strike, passengers would be better informed about the expected disruptions to their journeys,” A4E MD Thomas Reynaert said in a statement.
In 2018, European travelers were subjected to a total of 30 ATC strike days—22 of which originated in France. That represents 75% of all ATC strikes in Europe last year.