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How French air traffic control strike will hit flights on Monday

The Local France
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How French air traffic control strike will hit flights on Monday

French air traffic controllers have called a strike on Monday, leading to delays and cancellations.


Several of the smaller unions that represent French air traffic controllers have called a one-day strike on Monday, November 20th.

There are two bits of good news for travellers - the first is that the largest air traffic controllers' union, the SNCTA, is not involved and has in fact declared an 'Olympic truce' and pledged not to strike until after the Paris Olympics in summer 2024. This has somewhat limited the disruption on Monday.

The other bit of good news is the reason for the strike - it was called in protest against a new law that has just been adopted in the Assemblée nationale which will reduce disruption in future strikes - full details here.


This strike affects only air traffic controllers - so trains, the Metro and other public transport will run as normal on Monday.

But despite these bright sides, passengers can still expect significant disruption on Monday.


The French civil aviation authority DGAC has ordered four airports to cancel flights - Paris-Orly, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Marseille-Provence. 

Paris-Orly and Toulouse will cancel 25 percent of flights, while Bordeaux and Marseille-Provence will cancel 20 percent of flights.

Exactly which flights are cancelled is left up to airlines, who usually try and prioritise long-haul flights.

This affects flights that take off or land between the evening of Sunday, November 19th and 6am on Tuesday, November 21st. 

Anyone with a flight booked should contact their airline. 


The rest of France's airports - including its biggest airport Paris Charles de Gaulle - should see no cancellations, however it is possible that some flights will be delayed or even re-routed due to the knock-on effect of the cancellations on other routes.

Passengers will be notified by their airline if their flight is affected, but it is still recommended to check your flight status prior to departing for the airport.


Because of France's geographic position many flights pass over France on their way to somewhere else, and while they are in French airspace they are handled by French air traffic control.

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This means that the strike also has the potential to disrupt flights that neither take off or land in France - although the most usual scenario is delays as flights take a longer route to go around France, rather than over it.


If your flights is cancelled or delayed by more than three hours then may be entitled to a refund and compensation, provided you are covered by EU flights legislation - that is, if your airline is based in the EU or of your flight was due to take off from an EU country. 

READ ALSO Your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled

You can keep up with all the latest strike news in our strike section HERE.


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