Airlines condemn French air traffic control strike

Airlines condemn French air traffic control strike

Just ten days after extensive disruption in European aviation, a new French air traffic controller strike will today cause disruption to travel plans.

Millions of European travellers are expected to be hit by the action, the 43rd strike day in France since 2009.

“Repeated and disproportionate industrial action by French ATC unions is seriously impacting the travel plans of thousands of passengers during Easter.

“It is unacceptable that airlines and their customers can be repeatedly punished by these unjustified strikes.

“We call on the European Commission to act immediately to defend consumers,” said Thomas Reynaert, managing director of Airlines4Europe.

“We are currently working on an immediate action plan to minimise strike effects on both local traffic and over flights.

“But we also need the European Commission to remain at the helm of implementing a European Aviation Strategy without disruptions and to the benefit of travellers.

“This must be a priority,” he added.

The French ATC strike from March 20th-22nd caused over 1,000 cancellations among the A4E members and was the source of 500,000 delay minutes (8,333 hours or 347 days) across all airlines operating in European airspace during the strike period.

“Needless to say A4E accepts that the right to strike is a fundamental right, but one million or more passengers cannot have their travel plans spoiled again by this dispute,” confirmed Reynaert.

Last year, more than 10,000 flights operated by A4E members were affected by 28 days of ATC strikes in Europe causing unjustified disruptions to millions of passengers.

Airlines for Europe is Europe’s new and largest airline association, based in Brussels.

Launched in January 2016, the association consists of Air France KLM, easyJet, Finnair, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian and Ryanair, and plans to grow.