100K passengers grounded amid French ATC strike
An estimated 100,000 passengers have had their flights grounded due to a strike by French air-traffic controllers. As a result of strike actions, different European airlines canceled at least 1,000 flights and warned their passengers about possible delays.
Control centers at airports in Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Beauvais, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes have been on strike since October 9, 2017. Members of the main air-traffic unions protest against the labor reform policies of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Emmanuel Macron signed a new labor law on September 22, 2017. The rules will cap payouts on dismissals that are judged unfair, while also giving companies greater freedom to hire and fire employees and to agree working conditions.
The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) in an official statement requested airlines to reduce their flight offerings in France by 30%.
“The impact of the seventh strike day in France this year will be quite significant: airlines have been forced to reduce their flight program by a third, said Managing director of airline association Airlines for Europe(A4E) Thomas Reynaert. “We expect to see escalating delays throughout the day, forcing airlines to cut back on their flight program even further.”
European airlines inform about flight cancellations and delays due to strike. Announcement regarding flights changes was made by easyJet and Ryanair.
“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,” EasyJet said officials in a statement.
Ryanair listed canceled flights on the official web-page and warned passengers that cancellation may continue.
“We regret to advise customers that due to an air traffic control strike in France on October 10, we have been forced to cancel the flights. Unfortunately, further flight delays and cancellations are likely,” the airline inform.
Passengers whose flights are canceled or delayed are not entitled to cash compensation. If airlines are not able to offer an alternative departure within a reasonable time, typically 2 days, they must pay for flights on other carriers, according to the Independence.
Studies for the European Commission and for A4E show that 7 out of 10 European strikes of air-traffic controllers since 2005 have taken place in France. During the same period France accounted for 252 strike days while 15 other EU countries have not experienced any ATC strikes at all.