French air traffic notches up 14th strike this year

French air traffic notches up 14th strike this year

Airlines face extensive delays and cancelations today due to the latest 24-hour strike by workers in France.

Ryanair was forced to cancel 22 flights last night and a further 72 today, blaming “unjustified air traffic control disruptions”.

EasyJet is reported to have grounded 64 flights today, including 22 due to fly to and from the UK.

British Airways warned that some flights will be cancelled and other short haul services may also suffer from delays and disruption, given how many flights would normally use French airspace.

It is the 14th strike of the year involving French air traffic controllers.

“We will be using larger aircraft where possible to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce the levels of disruption,” the airline said.

The French general strike started last night and will last until this evening.

“The strike will not only affect flights flying to and from France but also flights flying over French airspace,” the easyJet said.

“As 65% of easyJet’s flights fly over France this will have an impact to our flying programme. Just like other airlines we are subject to French air traffic regulations, we therefore expect delays and cancellations on Thursday.

“We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the strike on our customers, and have taken the decision to proactively cancel a number of flights, allowing customers to reorganise their journeys.

“Although this situation is outside our control, we do understand that it can be a very frustrating situation for all customers travelling.”

The timing of the latest industrial action came on the back of airline shares falling on the back of a cautious note from Barclays on the European aviation sector.

EasyJet became the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, with its shares falling 48p to £10.86.

The broker, which favoured BA owner International Airlines Group, which was down more than 5p to 414.5p, and Ryanair, slightly higher at €13, warned that terrorism and Brexit threatened to offset the boost from a lower oil price, The Times reported.


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