One-day strike by French ATC causes travel chaos for thousands of passengers

©Ryanair was forced to cancel over 420 flights during the one-day strike of French air traffic control union SNCTA

A one-day strike by French air traffic control union SNCTA resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights and many hundreds of thousands of passengers left with either flight delays or flight cancellations.

While Air France was only able to operate 45% of local and regional flights, and 90% of long-haul flights, further afield Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair was forced to cancel over 420 flights, affecting over 80,000 passengers. British Airways was forced to cancel 22 flights and easyJet 76 flights.

The strike involves a row over a demanded pay increase to cover the effects of rising inflation and many European flights were affected which were neither flying to or from French airports, but which would normally fly over French airspace.

French laws only protect domestic flights and not ones which fly over the country. Many scheduled flights were able to take off, albeit delayed, on new routes that would bypass French airspace. The flight cuts affected the whole of France, the French civil aviation authority DGAC said, adding at the time that it was currently working with the European air travel regulator Eurocontrol to help airlines avoid the country’s air space.

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