France flights are set to be severely disrupted as French air traffic controllers strike from 7pm today, local time, until 6am on Friday. Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways have all cancelled flights with many more delayed. The 35-hour walk out by French controllers and engineers working for DSNA, the national air-navigation provider, is part of a wider national protest by public servants against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to reform working conditions. Travel chaos comes as a huge number of aircraft normally overfly France resulting in delays and cancellations.
However, French authorities have stipulated a minimum service level of 50 per cent of overflights while others will be able to avoid French airspace.
Switzerland is helping by opening up additional airspace for aircraft to pass through – but this will result in a build-up of delays.
Paris Orly, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse airports are set to be particularly affected, as well as Nantes, with Perpignan and Pau airports closing at night.
Are easyJet flights cancelled?
EasyJet has already cancelled at least 54 departures. Customers are advised to check the status of their flight online.
An easyJet spokeswoman told Express.co.uk: “Due to a national strike in France on Thursday 9 May which will affect public services including Air Traffic Controllers in France, easyJet is expecting disruption to its flying programme.
“This will affect flights to and from France as well as flights flying over French airspace which may be significantly impacted during this period.
“Like other airlines flying to and from France, easyJet is required to cancel a proportion of its French programme and, we are also expecting other flights to experience delays.
“Due to an increased volume of calls expected to the call centre, we advise customers travelling during the strike period to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker page or manage their bookings using our disruption portal on our mobile app or website.
“Customers on affected flights will be contacted directly via SMS and email via the details provided at the time of booking.
“We recommend that customers travelling over this period transfer their flight to/from France to a date outside of the strike action dates. Any customers affected by cancellation are eligible for a refund or a free of charge transfer to an alternate flight.”
Are Ryanair flights cancelled?
Ryanair has also cancelled some flights pre-emptively and warns of delays. The Irish airline released a statement saying: “We have been notified of a French Air Traffic Control Strike from 5pm on the 8th May until the 4am on the 10th May.
“We expect many flights will be cancelled and some may be delayed due to the French Air Traffic Control strike.
“All customer’s affected between 5pm on Wednesday 8th May and 4am on Friday 10th May by a flight cancellation have been sent an email and SMS message on Tuesday 07th May, advising of their options of a free move or a refund.
“If your flight is delayed, you will be sent an email and SMS on the day of your flight with the updated scheduled times of departure.”
Are British Airways flights cancelled?
BA has cancelled a total of 36 flights, including six flights to and from Paris, four between Heathrow and Nice, and single round-trips from Heathrow to Lyon and Marseille.
The airline has also grounded six flights between Heathrow and Barcelona, and a round-trip to Geneva and Basel.
A British Airways spokesman told Express.co.uk: “Yet again the French Air Traffic Control trade unions are causing unnecessary frustration and disruption for customers at a busy time of year.
“We continue to urge the French Government and the trade unions to resolve their issues so that customers can go on their holidays and business trips without these regular threats of strike action hanging over them.
“We are doing our best to reduce the levels of disruption and we are offering flexible customer options. We will be using larger aircraft, wherever we can, to help customers from cancelled flights get to where they need to be.
“We are advising customers to keep checking on ba.com for the latest information about their flights.”
What should you do if your flight is delayed or cancelled?
Coby Benson, Flight Delay Compensation Solicitor at Bott and Co explained what disrupted passengers should do.
“Many passengers are still not aware that they have more rights than they think if their flight is delayed or cancelled,” he said.
Published at Wed, 08 May 2019 09:05:00 +0000