Disruption in flights originating and landing in France is expected as a three-day strike by air traffic controllers (ATCs) gets under way Dec. 5.

The strike is part of much wider industrial action that is expected to affect all modes of transport, the emergency services and other public sector workers, in protest against plans to reform the country’s pension scheme.

The national strike is expected to last for only 24 hours, but Air France said the country’s air traffic controllers plan to extend action until Dec. 7.

As a result, the country’s civil aviation authority, the DGAC, has asked airlines to reduce flight programs to and from Paris Charles De Gaulle, Paris Orly, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux airports.

Air France said that on Dec. 5 the airline expects to operate all long-haul flights, 85% of medium-haul flights and “almost 70%” of domestic services.

“Disruptions are also possible for 6 and 7 December, and our flight program will be adjusted the day before, following DGAC recommendations,” the airline warned in a statement Dec. 4.

It added that last-minute delays and cancellations could not be excluded.

The effect on en route flights crossing French airspace is still uncertain.
“Our teams are fully mobilized and will do their utmost to assist you and minimize the impact of this industrial action on your travel plans,” the Air France statement said.
Given the strength of public feeling against tampering with the generous current pension provision, several unions have warned that strikes may continue until Christmas.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com