European carriers are bracing for further disruption, as France’s air traffic controllers plan another walkout which threatens to be the worst of 2016.
Eurocontrol is warning that French air traffic control (ATC) could be affected by a French public services strike from 0400UTC on June 2 until 0400UTC on June 3.
This will be immediately followed by an ATC-specific walkout from 0400UTC on June 3 until 0400UTC on June 6, in protest against future reforms.
European airline lobby group Airlines for Europe (A4E) has warned that the June 3-6 strike threatens delays, cancellations and long detours.
“We are looking at up to 3,000 cancellations, or more, if this hits hard,” an A4E spokesman said.
Roughly one million minutes of delays are anticipated over the weekend. This is equal to all the other European ATC walkouts in 2016 put together.
Irish budget carrier Ryanair said it plans to cancel 75 flights on June 2 and is awaiting further information about the June 3-5 stoppage.
“This latest strike action by the French ATC unions is a clear escalation of their attempts to cause as much disruption as possible,” Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said.
This is the ninth French ATC strike in the past 10 weeks and the 50th since 2009.