Travel chaos as air traffic controllers plan strike

France’s biggest controllers’ unions protesting against cuts

Six days of travel chaos are likely starting tomorrow, as French air traffic controllers vote to strike just when thousands of holidaymakers are looking forward to long-awaited vacations.

France’s two biggest air traffic controllers’ unions are protesting against budget cuts. A similar strike in June 2013 saw hundreds of flights cancelled and the number of aircraft movements through French airspace cut by 50%.

French officials are warning of “heavy disruption” to journeys between June 24 and 29. Passengers are advised to check with their airlines before going to the airport. Air France says it will do all it can to implement all long-haul flights, at least.

The walk-out comes ahead of a June 30 deadline for France to present its five-year budget plans for the sector over to Brussels. The strikers say that planned cuts between 2015 and 2019 will threaten the “necessary performance and modernisation needed to ensure an efficient air navigation service in France.” The cuts are part of Single Sky Europe, a European Commission plan to reduce air navigation costs.


[photo courtesy ATCEUC]


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