More flight disruption due to French air traffic controllers strike

French air traffic controllers have thrown many British holidaymakers into turmoil with the news that they are planning seven more days of strikes.

A 48-hour stoppage over the Easter holidays left thousands of Brits facing long and frustrating journeys and there are more strikes to come.

The French strikers – all members of the SNCTA union – are protesting against proposals to raise their retirement age from 57 to 59.

There are also plans to rationalise European airspace.

Worryingly for travellers, France has the busiest airspace in Europe and airlines have been forced to make contingency plans for the next stoppage, which is set to begin on 16 April.

Negotiations are taking place this week. Unless an agreement is reached, air-traffic controllers will strike from 16-18 April and from 29 April-2 May.

Many travellers booked on the proposed strike dates are frustrated that airlines will not let them transfer flights without penalties.

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We do not cancel flights that are scheduled to fly over France in advance as we do not know which, or how many, French air traffic controllers will be at work. Therefore we cannot predict with any level of accuracy how many flights will still be able to overfly France.”

During the strike earlier this month, Vueling jets touched down at Gatwick from Barcelona 12 hours late. British Airways were also forced to cancel flights from Heathrow to Dublin and Munich due to crew issues following the strike.

Countries with significant numbers of passengers grounded included Spain , particularly in Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga, Mallorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.


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