THOUSANDS of passengers have been affected by the French air traffic control strike with British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet cancelling a number of flights.
More than 500 flights have been affected this week with the strike, which is due to last until Friday at 6am.
Air traffic controllers are striking as part of a national protest against new working conditions introduced by French President Emmanuel Macron.
According to Travel Weekly, up to 75,000 passengers face delayed or cancelled flights across Europe, with at least 550 flights affected.
Flights that are not travelling to or from France could also be affected, as many airlines travel through French air space.
EasyJet cancelled 134 flights yesterday, they confirmed, with ten flights to and from the UK affected.
Airports in Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse are thought to be the most affected, with routes between the UK and France, as well as Portugal and Spain facing cancellations and delays.
Concerned travellers have contacted the airlines on social media for an update.
One person asked: @easyJet Hi there, we’re booked on a flight tomorrow from Toulouse to Gatwick (mid strike). Will it fly? Or can you transfer us to the flight on Friday? We have a 3 year old and my wife has a hospital operation booked on Sunday.”
Twitter user Ruth said: “Affected by air traffic strikes last year and now faced with cancellation again tomorrow. Furious #frenchairtraffic #strikes #easyjet @easyJet”
Eoin Doyle asked: “@Ryanair hi, flying to Barcelona Girona from Dublin tomorrow – is it likely the flight will be cancelled with the French ATC strikes?”
Another tweeted: “@British_Airways I’m flying on Fri morning, is my flight likely to be cancelled or delayed due to the French air traffic control strike?”
Advice from easyJet
An easyJet spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “Due to a national strike in France on Thursday 9 May which will affect public services including Air Traffic Controllers in France, easyJet is expecting disruption to its flying programme.
“This will affect flights to and from France as well as flights flying over French airspace which may be significantly impacted during this period.
“Like other airlines flying to and from France, easyJet is required to cancel a proportion of its French programme and, we are also expecting other flights to experience delays.
“Due to an increased volume of calls expected to the call centre, we advise customers travelling during the strike period to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker page or manage their bookings using our disruption portal on our mobile app or website at www.easyjet.com/(Your flight number).
“Customers on affected flights will be contacted directly via SMS and email via the details provided at the time of booking.
“We recommend that customers travelling over this period transfer their flight to/from France to a date outside of the strike action dates. Any customers affected by cancellation are eligible for a refund or a free of charge transfer to an alternate flight.
“Although this is outside of our control we would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused and, would like to reassure them that we are doing all possible to minimise any disruption as a result of the industrial action.”
Hundreds of Brits could be affected by flight cancellations and delays[/caption]
Advice from British Airways
British Airways also told Sun Online Travel: “Yet again the French Air Traffic Control trade unions are causing unnecessary frustration and disruption for customers at a busy time of year.
“We continue to urge the French Government and the trade unions to resolve their issues so that customers can go on their holidays and business trips without these regular threats of strike action hanging over them.
“We are doing our best to reduce the levels of disruption and we are offering flexible customer options. We will be using larger aircraft, wherever we can, to help customers from cancelled flights get to where they need to be.
“We are advising customers to keep checking on ba.com for the latest information about their flights.”
Advice from Ryanair
Ryanair explain on their website: “We have been notified of a French Air Traffic Control Strike from 17.00 on Wed 8th May until 04.00 on Fri 10th May. We expect many flights will be cancelled and some may be delayed due to the French ATC strike.
“All customer’s affected by a flight cancellation between 17:00 on Wed 8th May until 04:00 on Fri 10th May have been sent an email and SMS message on Tues 07th May, advising of their options of a free move or a refund. If you have not received an email or text SMS then we expect your flight to operate as scheduled.
“If your flight is delayed, you will be sent an email and SMS on the day of your flight with the updated scheduled times of departure.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by these ATC strikes. We will do everything we can to minimise your disruption, which is sadly beyond our control.”
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