French ATCs Plan Another 36-hour Strike


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French air traffic controllers (ATC) plan to strike for at least 36 hours, starting from Wednesday evening, Airlines for Europe (A4E) lobby group said in a statement.

A4E said this will be the 43rd strike day in France since 2009, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights and creating disruption and extensive delays across the continent.

The French Railway system also plans to strike.

The last French ATC strike, from March 20-22, caused more than 1,000 cancellations among A4E members and caused 500,000 delay minutes (8,333 hours or 347 days) across all airlines operating in European airspace during the strike period, according to A4E.

“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,” MD Thomas Reynaert said in a statement. He added A4E is working on an immediate action plan to minimize strike effects on both local traffic and overflights.

“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 travelers. This must be a priority,” he said.

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