Airline passengers across Europe could face hours of delays and cancellations over the next week as a six-day French air traffic control strike begins today (June 24).
Airlines have been forced to cancel dozens of flights and warned of potential delays to all flights crossing French airspace.
British Airways has cancelled 90 flights today because of the planned strike. Ryanair said it has cancelled 26 flights to and from France today, while Easy Jet said 28 flights had been cancelled. Airline officials said day by day decisions will be made on the need for additional cancellations.
Members of the two biggest air traffic controllers’ unions in France originally voted for a six-day strike from Tuesday in protest of budget cuts. However, one of the unions decided to drop strike action.
Travellers heading to France or have flights over French airspace are advised to check with their airlines regarding flight status.
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) strongly condemned the strike action which targets vacationers at the start of the busy summer holiday season.
“Unions bent on stopping progress are putting at risk the hard-earned vacations of millions of travellers, and from the public’s perspective, the timing of the strike could even be regarded as malicious. In additional to vacationers, business people undertaking important trips, and those awaiting urgent shipments will all face hassles and uncertain waits as flights are cancelled, delayed or diverted around a major portion of European airspace,” said Tony Tyler (pictured), IATA’s director general and CEO.