Millions of holiday-makers face travel disruption next week, when members of France’s two biggest air traffic controller unions begin a six-day strike. Paris ATC strike is not the first strike of the year, however, it may be the largest and most paralyzing one.
The SNCTA and Unsa-ICNA unions announced on Friday that the round of industrial action would last from June 24, 2014 until June 29, 2014.
Air traffic controllers warned of “a heavy disruption of flights” during the strike which coincides with 10-day-long rail protests in the country which have severely disrupted both domestic and foreign travel.
50 per cent of scheduled flights scheduled flights will run, according to France Info, but controllers believe this is a conservative estimate.
Some 17.1 million UK citizens travel to France each year, mostly during the peak summer months.
On Thursday evening, over 60 per cent of the 4,000 air traffic controllers voted in favour of the protest against government aviation cuts that will hit between 2015 and 2019. Staff fear the cuts will threaten “modernisation” and lead to a “forced low-cost” approach to their work, France24 reported.
The measures will be imposed in compliance with a European Commission plan to reduce air navigation costs by dividing European airspace into functional blocks according to traffic flows rather than national borders.