“Disruption is expected over the whole country,” said the DGAC civil aviation authority which has asked airlines to reduce the number of flights by 40 percent on Wednesday.
Air Traffic controllers have had long-running disputes over everything from pensions to workloads. The union is the biggest in the industry, and has 41 percent of France’s 4,000 air traffic controllers as members.
The union is calling for talks over working practices, as it is proposed to cut the amount of controllers on duty, which the union is calling un-safe. Also another key issue is that of the retirement age, currently set at 59 for air traffic controllers.
They will strike from Wednesday to Thursday, then again from Thursday the 16th of April to the 18th, then once again from the 29th of April to the 2nd of May.
The strike will mean some flights in and out of France, particularly short-haul trips, will be cancelled which potentially will leave thousands of tourists who are heading home after the Easter break, stranded.
Even passengers flying over France will be affected by the strike, with French airspace fielding 8,000 flights a day.
As you would expect, all the airlines are already advising passengers to check their flight hasn’t been cancelled before they leave for the airport. Also keep yourself updated on the airlines websites or with customer services as information can quickly change.
Air France who was among those the hardest hit of all airlines at the last round of strikes earlier in the year, still announced that it planned to run “almost all” its long-haul services arriving in or departing from Paris on Wednesday.
But the airline said it planned to cut around 40 percent of its medium-haul flights.