UPDATE: French National Strikes Thursday 16th February:
Regional airports are joining in and around 20 per cent of flights from airports in Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier and Nantes are expected to be cancelled.
Travellers to and from France face journey disruptions this week due to a national strike. Eurostar, easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways to cancel some services mainly on Thursday 16th February.
Transport workers in France are taking industrial action to protest against President Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age by two years to 64. The action by air-traffic controllers begins at 6pm French time on 15 February and continues until 6am on Friday 17 February.
easyjet will be most affected as every day they have several hundred flights whose routes pass through French airspace.
An easyJet spokesperson said:
“Airlines have been requested by the French authorities to make cancellations to their flying programmes on Thursday 16 February. Any impacted customers will be notified in advance to help them rearrange their plans and offered the option to change their flight for free or receive a refund.
“As French rail services may also be affected, we recommend customers plan their journey to or from the airport in advance and allow extra time to travel.
“While this is outside of our control, we would like to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience they may experience as a result of the strike action.”
Ryanair is likely to cancel a handful of flights and remains insistent that the European Commission should ensure overflights can continue unaffected. Neal McMahon, the airline’s director of operations, said:
“It is completely unacceptable that European passengers will once again face disruption tomorrow as result of yet another French ATC [air-traffic control] strike – the fifth strike already this year.
“Even passengers who are not flying to/from France are impacted because they overfly French airspace, all the while French laws unfairly protect French domestic flights.”
So far British Airways has cancelled a London Heathrow to Lyon flight and Iberia one return flight to Madrid.
There are cancellations on Eurostar between London St Pancras and Paris Nord while the French operator, SNCF, advises:
“We invite you to postpone your journey free of charge to another date, or to cancel your journey and obtain a full refund.”
Note: If your flight is cancelled because of this strike, you are entitled to receive a seat on an alternative flight on the same day. If an alternative flight cannot be found and an overnight stay is required to catch the next available flight, the airline must provide a hotel and meals.