European passengers face new delays and cancellations as airlines are forced to reduce flights to and over France today due to a second strike in a week by the country’s air traffic controllers.
At least 300 flights were grounded as a result of the industrial action last week.
In addition, 130,000 minutes of delay accumulated on 3,000 flights across Europe, according to aviation association Airlines for Europen (A4E).
Delays alone can lead to crew exceeding their flight time limitations and aircraft being unable to return to their home base.
A4E managing director Thomas Reynaert said: “This is the second strike in a week and the uncertainty about the impact, and escalating delays throughout a strike day, force airlines to cut back on their flight programme.
“Airlines cannot wait hoping that air traffic controllers will turn up at their control centres – our members need to protect the integrity of their flight schedules to avoid knock-on delays and cancellations that impact on customers.”
With two-thirds of all European ATC strike days taking place in France, A4E is urging the French government to consider measures to improve the predictability of the strikes’ impact and decrease their damage to the French and European economy.
A4E has called for a compulsory Europe-wide minimum of 72 hours’ notice of participation in a strike and a way to manage airspace effectively so that overflights can continue regardless of localised action.
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