Air-traffic control strikes to disrupt flights in France

Simon Calder
A body was found on an Air France flight from Ivory Coast to Paris: iStock

Another series of strikes affecting travellers is getting underway in France.

Workers are continuing the protests against President Macron’s proposed pension reforms that began on 5 December 2019.

Air-traffic controllers belonging to the USAC-CGT union will walk out from 7pm local time on Wednesday 19 February to 6.30am on Friday 21 February.

Biarritz airport is likely to be closed completely from 4pm on Thursday. All Air France flights to and from Paris have been cancelled for the afternoon and evening. The first flight from Biarritz to Paris on Friday morning is also grounded.

Serious disruption is expected at Toulouse airport until 5pm on Thursday.

No substantial impact is expected at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the country’s biggest, though an emergency timetable will be in force on the RER rail line between the airport and the city centre.

Lyon will have limited air-traffic service early on Thursday. Bordeaux airport may suffer disruption from 7pm local time on Thursday.

Few problems are predicted at three other large airports: Paris Orly, Marseille and Nice.

During previous strikes, British Airways’ operations have been hit, with overflights serving Spain, Switzerland and Italy also affected. But at present BA intends to operate a full schedule.

Passengers on easyJet are warned: “Some air-traffic control staff are joining the strike action and therefore like all airlines, our flights to and from French airports, as well as these flying in French airspace, could be affected.

“We expect that there will be delays due to the industrial action.

“Although this situation is outside of our control we would like to apologise to any affected customers for the inconvenience caused.”

Metro services in Paris are expected to be little affected, but bus and tram services in regional cities may be badly hit.

Some trains on local, regional and express routes are likely to be cancelled.