Strike by French air traffic controllers enters second day

Strike by French air traffic controllers enters second day

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Passengers face a second day of flight chaos due to a 48-hour strike by French air traffic controllers.

Ryanair has been forced to cancel a further 250 flights today (Thursday) across Europe after grounding a similar number yesterday.

Those affected today include 72 to and from the UK with easyJet grounding 48, British Airways 24 and Flybe 18 in addition to eight operated by Air France serving Paris from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Other services face delays as they have to be rerouted around French airspace to and from other countries.

Air France will operate only half of its medium-haul schedule today from Paris Charles de Gaulle, one out of four flights from Paris Orly and only 40% of services from other French airports including Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Nice and Nantes.

The French carrier warned passengers to expect last-minute delays and cancellations, although it plans to run its full long haul programme.

The walkout by members of the SNCTA controllers’ union in protest over “traffic overload” has left many passengers stranded abroad.

The situation is likely to be compounded by further strikes planned for next week – between Thursday and Saturday – and at the end of the month, coinciding with spring school holidays in France

Ryanair warned that further cancellations and delays are likely today and urged travellers to check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport.

“We sincerely apologise to all customers affected by this unwarranted strike action and we again call on the EU and French authorities to act now and prevent thousands of travellers being held to ransom by these French ATC workers,” the airline said.

“All affected customers have been contacted by email and text message and advised of their options - full refund, free transfer onto next available flight or free transfer onto an alternative flight routing.”

Max Foster, passenger director at DFDS Seaways, advised those wanting to travel to France to consider ferry travel as an alterative to flying.

"Ferries are sometimes overlooked when people are planning short breaks to France, but ferry travel is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways of hopping across the Channel to France,” he said.

The company sails up to 44 times a day from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk and twice daily between Newhaven and Dieppe.

Abta tweeted: “If anyone is affected by the French sir traffic controllers strike, we've got advice on our website at ‪”


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