MIAMI — On Monday the French Air Traffic Control (ATC) began a strike that’s expected to continue until early hours of Wednesday.
The national strike began on Monday at 6 p.m. (local time) as a protest against new policies on the labor reform that French President, Emmanuel Macron, is trying to approve.
France’s Civil Aviation Authority requested airlines to reduce their flight schedules by 30% on Tuesday. The strike, made by the Main Air Traffic Controllers’ Unions, is affecting hundreds of travelers and airlines across Europe: Ryanair, British Airways an easyJet have suffered the greater impact.
— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) October 10, 2017
The Irish low-cost carrier, Ryanair, was forced to cancel over 220 flights across Europe affecting more than 40,000 customers. If not enough, the airline is also facing the remanents of the major hiccup that involves a pilot shortage. They pronounced and apologized through a statement:
Ryanair released a statement earlier today apologizing for the inconveniences caused by the ATC strike:
Unfortunately, further flight delays and cancellations are likely and customers are asked to please monitor this notice which will be updated throughout the day. Ryanair sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused by these unjustified ATC disruptions which are entirely outside of our control.
We regret we have been forced to cancel some flights today Tuesday (10 Oct) due to a French ATC strike https://t.co/FY76Mn5QHu
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 10, 2017
EasyJet followed suit releasing a similar statement:
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.
The strike is also expected to impact many public services in France, including public transport. We advise all passengers to allow plenty of extra time to get to the airport and consider alternative transport options where possible.
— easyJet (@easyJet) October 10, 2017
As the situation unfolds, more cancellations are expected throughout Europe. Several airlines that fly between Spain and Italy, for instance, will be canceled, as all of these must fly through French airspace.
British Airways was heavily impacted as well—all their flights from the UK to French, Spanish and Italian destinations are being drastically affected. The airline will allow passengers scheduled to fly to France, Madrid or Barcelona to rebook their flight through Thursday.
— Paris Aéroport (@ParisAeroport) October 8, 2017
According to data from FlightAware.com, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) reported 211 flight delays Monday — 15% of the airport’s scheduled flights and Paris Orly Airport (ORY) experienced 158 flight delays Monday — one out of every five scheduled flights was delayed.
On Tuesday, CDG reported more than 170 flight delays and more than 80 cancellations, while ORY has topped 80 delays and 50 cancellations. Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) and Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) are also experiencing cancellations and delays.