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One fifth of flights could be cancelled this Tuesday

The Connexion, May 20

Up to 20% of flights to and from Orly, Lyon and Marseille could be cancelled if the strike goes ahead

Up to 20% of domestic and international flights could be cancelled on Tuesday (May 22) to and from airports Orly, Lyon and Marseille, due to three air traffic controller unions calling a strike and protests.

The unions Usac-CGT, FO and Unsa have officially informed the civil aviation authority la Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) of their plans to strike, as part of the third national day of strikes in solidarity with public sector workers.

In response, the DGAC said it is expecting “disruption across the country”, and recommends that travellers check with their airlines before travelling, to see if their flights are likely to be delayed or cancelled.

Major airlines including Air France, British Airways and EasyJet have confirmed that their domestic and international flights could be cancelled or delayed at short notice on May 22, on both long-haul and short-haul schedules (including on Air France’s domestic service, HOP!).

Air France is allowing customers with tickets booked for Tuesday to postpone their flights, change their country or destination of origin, or cancel their trip - to which it will then issue a voucher valid for one year across Air France, KLM and HOP! Services.

British Airways is allowing customers who booked their flights before May 18 to bring their flight forward to May 19, 20 or 21; or push it back to May 23 or 24, to avoid Tuesday May 22.

Yet, it has said: “Unfortunately, if the threatened strike does go ahead, we are likely to be forced to cancel some flights...and other short-haul flights may also experience some disruption, given how many flights from numerous European airlines would normally use French airspace each day.”

It added: “We will be using larger aircraft, where possible, to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce the levels of disruption.”

EasyJet is advising all customers with flights booked to check the status of their journey through their online tracker. Affected customers will be contacted through text or email, it said, and many will be able to transfer their flights free of charge, or receive a refund.

A statement from EasyJet said: “Like all airlines, our flights to and from French airports, as well as those flying in French airspace, could be affected. Although this situation is outside of our control we would like to apologise to any affected passengers for the inconvenience caused.”

Across the country, workers from the unions CGT, CFDT, FO, Unsa, FSU, Solidaires, CFTC, CFE-CGC and FA are expected to protest and strike on May 22, representing up to 5.7 million public sector employees.

The strikes are expected to affect workers across multiple industries, including in schools and crèches, and across public transport, healthcare and utilities services.

 

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