UK airlines warn Tuesday’s French air traffic control strike will impact on Spain flights

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FRENCH ATC STRIKE: Delays and cancellations expected across Europe

AIR traffic controllers in France are expected to join the general strike  in the country from the evening of October 9  until the morning of October 11.

Airlines flying between the UK and Spain are warning that flights could be affected. 

** UPDATE ** 18:15 / 9 October 2017: Ryanair annouce MASSIVE flight cancellations on its routes in Spain due to French air traffic controllers strike

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The CFDT, CGT, FO and Unsa unions have urged the country’s 5.4million public service workers to walk out in protest over changes to France’s labour laws. 

France’s Civil Aviation Authority has requested airlines to reduce their flight schedules into the country by 30% on Tuesday, but the action will also impact on aircraft flying over French airspace.

EasyJet have said, “As a large percentage of easyJet’s flights fly over France, this will have an impact on our flights to and from French airports, as well as those flying over French airspace.

“Just like other airlines we are subject to French air traffic regulations, we therefore expect delays and cancellations on both days.

Jet2 have also warned, “Jet2.com has been made aware of industrial action supported by the Air Traffic Services in France between 9th October 18:00 BST and 11th October 03:00 BST. As a result, flights operating to France or through France airspace may be subject to disruption.

“We wish to assure customers that we will do our utmost to keep any disruption to a minimum.

“Whilst some delays may be experienced, we will be working constantly to bring forward any delayed departures and get flights underway at the earliest possible opportunity.

Meanwhile Europe’s largest airline association has called for  new measures to minimise the effect of French air traffic control strike action on travellers.

Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E said, “With two-thirds of all European ATC strike days taking place in France, European and French policy-makers need to implement measures capable of minimising Air Traffic Management disruption’s impact on travellers.

“More than 250 strike days since 2004 are enough – we cannot allow these well-paid air traffic controllers to restrict the rights of millions of European passengers.”

Ryanair has previously said, “President Macron’s government has announced a major transformation of French labour laws – but it appears nothing changes when it comes to air traffic control disruption and unions holding Europe to ransom.

“Enough is enough. If the French government is serious about changing France, they should start by tackling these air traffic control unions, and together with the European Commission, should take action to prevent thousands of European consumers from having their travel plans disrupted by a tiny group of ATC unions going on strike.

“They cannot stand idly by as more disruption and travel misery is inflicted upon Europe’s consumers and airlines.”

Ryanair and other airlines have repeatedly called on the commission to introduce measures which would alleviate the impact of these frequent air traffic control strikes:
• Require French air traffic control unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes
• Allow Europe’s other controllers to operate flights over France during strikes
• Protect flights over France under minimum service obligations during French air traffic control strikes

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