French Strikes Disrupting Air Traffic Control Across Europe

By David Hopwood | December 5, 2019

Unions representing workers of France’s DSNA union-the organisation providing air navigation and communications to flights to, from and through French airspace-have joined the biggest strike of public servants in years.

Unions are protesting the planned pension reforms proposed by President Macron.

The strike began at 19:00 UTC yesterday, Wednesday and is expected to last until the morning of Sunday 8th December.

Eurocontrol in Brussels has been warning carriers to curtail operations and an hour ago (16h30 UTC Thursday) were warning on Twitter;

‘Still very high levels of #flightdelay across all of France. The industrial action continues tomorrow and Saturday so even though we are doing all we can to minimise delays, check with your airline and expect delays/cancellations.’

Paris Le Bourget  ©Citizen59

EasyJet has cancelled 20 flights leaving the UK and 233 flights elsewhere. British Airways has cancelled 30 flights to Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland. Ryanair has also cancelled services to Nantes, Nice and Toulouse. The strike has had a major effect on Air France and of all flights out of Charles de Gaulle in Paris the airline has cancelled 33% of all domestic services and 85% of medium-haul flights. Long-haul flights are as yet unaffected.

At the time of writing (17:05) Eurocontrol was reporting the most delayed airports as Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Le Bourget and Nantes Atlantique, and most delayed airspaces are Bordeaux and Marseilles.

Many other services in France are affected including the French national railways, SNCF and regional transport network in Paris, RATP. The rail service Eurostar has cancelled 78 journeys and even….the Eiffel Tower is closed.

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