France braces for strikes, 20% of flights cut

Frederic Legrand

The French General Directorate of Civil Aviation required airlines to cut 20% of their flights over French territory on December 5, 2019, in anticipation of an interprofessional strike. Several airlines have already announced cancellations.

Multiple unions among the French Air Traffic Control have called for participation in the nationwide industrial action to protest pension reform. “We are removing 20% ​​of capacity, airline flight plans must adjust accordingly,” said Eric Heraud, spokesman for the French civil aviation authority, quoted by the AFP. Firefighters of Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), the country’s main airport, have also announced they would strike.

As a consequence, Air France will cancel about 30% of its domestic flights and 15% of its medium-haul flights. The long-haul should remain unaffected. The national carrier advises that delays and last-minute cancellations could happen, as eleven of its employees’ unions have called for industrial action. Transavia France, a low-cost carrier part of Air France-KLM Group, maintained the integrality of its flights for the day.

Similarly, some foreign airlines anticipate disturbances. The British airline EasyJet announced the cancellation of 233 domestic and medium-haul flights. “233 flights have been canceled, of which 70 concern the United Kingdom,” the company said in a written statement. EasyJet also expects delays. British Airways warned of potential disruptions the industrial action could have for its passengers

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