The French air traffic controllers union SNCTA has announced a strike on Friday 16 September. As a result, the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) has requested airlines to reduce their flight schedule from all French airports by 50% on that day to better manage the situation.
In accordance with the DGAC’s ask, multiple airlines cancelled their flights for Friday. Air France plans to operate around 90% of its long-haul flights and only 45% of its short and medium-haul flights. However, the airline said delays and last-minute cancellations could still happen, despite their best efforts to mitigate the impact.
Flight cancellations and significant delays are to be expected. Passengers who can are invited to postpone their trips.DGAC
“Like all airlines operating to/from French airports easyJet expects some disruptions to its flying program and has been requested by the French CAA to proceed to cancellations,” easyJet announced. Brussels Airlines has also cancelled 2 flights from Thursday evening and 10 from Friday.
Besides the flights directly to and from France, routes just passing over the country are also expected to be affected, since they are also regulated by French air traffic controllers. DGAC is trying to minimise the impact by working with Eurocontrol to re-route the planes so they can avoid French airspace.
The strike will be held from 6 am on Friday, 16 September, to 6 am on Saturday, 17 September. The industrial action comes in response to unsatisfactory pay and working conditions. A spokesperson for the union said that inflation has taken a huge toll on workers’ salaries and that a lot more recruitment is needed to spread the workload.
“Between 2029 and 2035, one third of the workforce is retiring. It is imperative that we anticipate and plan recruitment. If not, the consequences will be inevitable in terms of the public service, working conditions and flexibility”, the union explained.
The union also warned DGAC that if they cannot reach an agreement after this week, they will have another, longer, 3-day strike at the end of the month, from Wednesday, 28 September, to Friday, 30 September.