FCO warns flights to France face disruption and cancellations | Travel News | Travel

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued an urgent warning to Britons with plans to travel to France today. The news comes as the nation is set to face strike action from air traffic control unions, which is likely to ground flights across Europe.

The decision to go ahead with the strike was made after French authorities were unable to reach a deal.

France’s DGAC civil aviation authority said it had asked airlines to cancel 75 percent of Thursday’s flights at Paris Orly airport, reports Reuters.

Further cancellations were requested at Paris Charles-De-Gaulle and Marseille, with 55 percent and 65 percent cancelled respectively.

The FCO issued a statement on its travel advice pages for British travellers stating: “It is being reported that on Thursday 25 April 2024, flights across France will be disrupted, with many cancelled, following a call for strike action by air traffic control unions.

Check your operator’s advice before travelling, including where you are taking connecting flights.” The warning, at the time of writing, only applies to travellers with flight plans on April 25, 2024.

The Air Traffic control strikes will impact not only flights departing from and landing in France, but are also likely to impact flights passing through the airspace.

Ryanair has warned it would cancel over 300 flights including those from the UK to Spain or Italy, as a result of the action.

“French air traffic controllers are free to go on strike, that’s their right, but we should be cancelling French flights, not flights leaving Ireland, going to Italy, or flights from Germany to Spain or Scandinavia to Portugal,” Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement on Wednesday.

The cancellations have occurred even after the SNCTA, France’s biggest air traffic controllers union, said it was calling off today’s strike when it reached a deal with management over working conditions.

However, the deal was too late to avoid traffic disruptions. Discussions had also not been finalised with other unions in the country, according to Frances Civil Aviation Authority.

“While the withdrawing of strike notice may offer some relief for some passengers, its last-minute nature means that there will still be significant disruption to flights in France and across parts of Europe,” said Ourania Georgoutsakou, head of industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E), on Wednesday.

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