French air-traffic controllers strike Q&A: Here is what you need to know about the latest industrial action

Union angry about everything from retirement age to 'gradual deterioration of conditions of air traffic controllers'

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The Independent Travel

More problems for travellers are in store from French air-traffic controllers on Thursday and Friday. The main controllers’ union, the SNCTA, is angry about everything from the retirement age of controllers born between 1959 and 1964 to what it calls the “gradual deterioration of conditions of air traffic controllers.” It has announced a 48 hour strike beginning at dawn on 2 July. Here is what it could mean.

Q. Who would a strike effect? 

A. It could cause mayhem not just for people flying to and from France, but also anywhere from Italy to Portugal - because those flights normally cross French airspace. What normally happens is that the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) will mandate every airline using French airspace to cancel a proportion of flights.

Q. What are the airlines saying?

A. They’re furious at the possible disruption, which could cost them millions of pounds in lost revenue and extra costs looking after passengers, but they have very different views of what could happen. 

Air France: “Negotiations are still going on between the involved parties. If this industrial action is confirmed, French Civil Aviation Authorities will give instructions to all airlines. Accordingly to these instructions, we will adjust our flight schedule.

Monarch Whilst there will be a disruption, we plan to operate a full schedule”

EasyJet We expect significant impact to our flights during this period.

British Airways At this stage we do not know how many flights we will be required to cancel. If the strike goes ahead, we will look to use larger aircraft.

Ryanair We are not yet certain of the level of disruption expected.

Q. What are your rights?

A. You won’t get any compensation, because it’s not the airlines’ fault, but every airline has the duty to look after its passengers with meals and, if necessary, accommodation, in the event of disruption.