Air and rail services are being disrupted by a series of planned walkouts, and flights to Spain and other countries are affected too.
Travel to, from, through and above France will be disrupted over the coming days and weeks as French air traffic controllers launch into a protest action that may last for quite a while.
Today’s strike continues until 05:00 tomorrow, causing chaos at airports as Thursday progresses – one of the busiest days of the week. French authorities have ordered a 30% cut in the number of arrivals and departures at Paris’ main airports, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes and Toulouse.
The greatest impact could be felt in the south and west of France, The Independent reports, with the area control centres at Aix-en-Provence, Brest and Bordeaux slashing the amount of traffic overflying France, to for example Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Italy.
Air traffic controllers in other countries are having to work longer hours to divert flights around France.
Among the airlines affected, Ryanair has expressed outrage, resenting the strikers for “holding European consumers to ransom”.
A spokesperson for the trade body Airlines for Europe said that “from 2010-2017 the economic cost of ATC strikes in Europe totalled €12 billion”.
And, even before the air traffic strike ends, Air France staff are set to begin another strike. Passengers booked to travel with the airline on Friday or Saturday are being offered the chance to change to another day.
Employees of the national rail operator SNCF are also striking today until tomorrow morning. They say this is just the start, with a series of future two-day strikes due to begin on April 3 and continue until June 28.