Airlines are warning of possible “summer of discontent” due to an unprecedented wave of air traffic control strikes in France.
Thousands of European passengers will see their travel plans disrupted again during the weeks leading up to the school summer holidays.
Industrial action tomorrow (Thursday) is to be followed by further strikes announced for June 3-5 and June 14, meaning more cancelled flights, delayed journeys, and detours across Europe, according to industry lobby group Airlines for Europe.
European Regions Airline Association director general, Simon McNamara, said: “With further strikes planned for June in France both the EU and national governments must put an end to these disruptive and costly strikes which cause misery and delays to both passengers and airlines.”
French air traffic control will work on a reduced capacity for at least 24 hours from tomorrow morning, following similar action since March. It will be the 48th strike day in France since 2009.
The latest ATC strikes in Greece, Italy, Belgium and France in March, April and May caused more than 2,500 cancellations among A4E members and more than one million minutes of delay across all airlines operating in European airspace.
Meanwhile, strike action until Friday will affect ferry and public transport services in Greece, according to the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel alert.
More than 10,000 flights operated by A4E members were affected by 28 days of ATC strikes in Europe last year.
A4E managing director Thomas Reynaert said: “For the seventh time in the past two months the air traffic controllers in France are infringing people’s rights.
“The overall impact of these strikes will be immense as they are taking place at a very busy time of the year.
“We are hurtling towards a summer of disruption and frustration for customers.
“The European Commission and governments must act immediately to protect the rights of millions of European travellers affected by this repeated and disproportionate industrial action.”
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