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Industrial action by French ATC causes misery

A 35-hour national strike held between 8 May and 10 May disrupted Air Traffic Control and other public sector services directly affecting tens of thousands of travellers, with further cancellations and major delays impacting the travel plans of many more European and international citizens.

A French national strike commenced at 1900 local time on 8 May, marking the third national industrial action by air traffic controllers in Europe this year, and signalling the prospect of further misery throughout the summer for hard working European citizens expecting to travel for vacation or business, and for many international visitors providing much sought-after revenue for local and national economies.

French Air Traffic Control (ATC) services were disrupted for 35 hours as part of a national public sector strike resulting in the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) requesting that airlines using a number of airports in France reduce their flight schedules by 30 per cent in advance of the strike, forcing cancellations and affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

In addition to industrial action across Belgium this year, these strikes cause significant disruption to the day-to-day operations of ERA member airlines and airports as well as those of all operators who use the airspace affected and of course, their customers, whether they be passengers of cargo agents. ERA lobbies diligently to encourage EU politicians to better understand the impact on consumers and the enormous cost to EU business and ultimately the EU economy through lost revenue and the burden created by this damaging action. More pressure could be applied by the EU to protect the interests of its citizens and lessen the impact of both planned and lightning industrial action, not only in France but across the European Union.

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