Over 400 flights grounded due to French air traffic control strike

The ongoing strike by French air traffic controllers entered its third day on Wednesday and continued to cause misery for passengers around Europe.

Over 400 flights grounded due to French air traffic control strike
Photo: AFP

According to the DGAC, the French civil aviation authority around 430 flights either to, from or over France, were cancelled on Wednesday.

Among the airlines that had to cancel planes were budget companies Ryanair and EasyJet. Ryanair had to scrap 66 services, including 18 in and out of Paris Beauvais airport and 10 at Marseille while EasyJet had to ground 50 flights for airports all over the country.

A statement from Ryanair read: “Due to a third day of French ATC union strikes, we regret that we have again been forced to cancel a number of flights today (8 Mar). All affected customers have been contacted by email and SMS text message and advised of their flight options and delays are likely, with possible further cancellations.

We again urge all customers to sign the A4E online petition, Keep Europe's Skies Open to help protect Europe from repeated disruption by these ATC unions.”

Another budget airline Vueling had to cancel 22 flights.

A list of many of the cancelled flights can be seen here.

Air France was also hit, in particular its internal services from Orly airport in Paris and domestic airports.

All of Air France’s long haul flights should run as scheduled.

Airports across the country are badly affected including Brest, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice and Aix-en-Provence.

Passengers whose flights have been spared the raft of cancellations have been warned that they face delays.

The strike which is being held by the Unsa union due to staff grievances over working conditions and hours will run until Friday March 10th.



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French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.