The French Air Traffic Controller has launched its massive strike. As affected airlines canceled their scheduled flights, passengers find themselves in total chaos.
The start of the workweek has been a total wreck for thousands of passengers who have a scheduled flight on Monday as industrial action build up across Europe. The British Airways has canceled 40 flights on Monday because of the first French air-traffic control strike of the year. Aside from that, six more departures were canceled due to a weeklong strike by several cabin crew.
Most of the flight cancellations are between London and French cities, but the six flights on the Heathrow-Barcelona link have been grounded. This took place alongside services to Milan and the three major Swiss cities, Zurich, Basel, and Geneva.
The strike by staff at control centers in Brest and Bordeaux will last until Friday, March 10. It will include controllers at the south of France center in Aix-en-Provence halting work between Tuesday and Thursday. The strike was launched as the air traffic controllers are taking action over a range of issues, including pay and rostering. The complaints claim that their counterparts in Germany earn much more for lesser work, reported Independent.
Meanwhile, the French Civil Aviation Authority, the DGAC, has requested airlines to decrease their flight schedule in the west and southwest France. This will affect many services between the UK and the Iberian Peninsula. To help cope with the latest flights cancellation, British Airways says it will be using larger aircraft.
Furthermore, the carrier is at the moment allowing any flier scheduled to fly from any French, Madrid and Barcelona Airport to reschedule their flights for next week without penalty. In addition, British Airways also forewarned passengers to allocate extra time as there might be some delays due to the road and public transport disruption.
Air France, on the other hand, has grounded many more services, according to Daily Mail. The majority of this canceled flights are mainly domestic to and from Paris Orly. It includes 20 flights to and from Toulouse, 12 of which serving Brest and 10 to and from Bordeaux. For passengers heading to Bilbao, Lisbon and Casablanca will most likely be affected. The carrier will also launch its own staff strike on Tuesday.
Like other big names in air travel, Ryanair, which flies more passengers in Europe than any other airline, has grounded 44 of its flights. While, EasyJet, the UK's largest budget airline, says it expects to cancel between 30 and 40 flights on Monday, which will be mainly on French domestic services.
It can be recalled that the same thing happened in the previous year, as shown in the video. French Air Traffic Controllers also launched a strike last year.