French air traffic controllers began a 3-day strike this morning, in a dispute over EU plans to create a single European airspace.
The European Commission has stated that Europe’s airspace capacity could triple if air traffic controls were centralised, rather than each EU country monitoring its own skies. However air traffic controllers believe that the Single European Sky project (SES) will impact public safety and working conditions.
Airports in Paris are already affected by the strike, including Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly. 50% of flights to Paris, Toulouse, Lyon and Bordeaux are cancelled. More than 70 flights were scrapped out of Nice Cote D’Azur airport.
Paris Air Show affected
Plans for the Paris Air Show on June 17th – 23rd are also being impacted by the strike. It was widely expected that Airbus would launch the first official flight of their new Airbus A350 airliner this Friday (June 14th), as part of the build up for the major aviation showcase at Paris Le Bourget.
But plans for the historic first flight are now apparently under review, with disruption from the strike and poor weather forecast. Airbus have not given an official comment on the plans. While they could fly the A350 without air traffic control, flying during or just after the strike could derail their plans to bring in a large contingent of VIPs and media to the Airbus HQ in Toulouse.
Private jet travel during the French air traffic control strike
Private jets are also affected by the industrial action, but less so than airlines. Private aircraft can be re-routed at very short notice and the inherent flexibility of private jet travel makes it possible to work around most kinds of travel disruption.
For advice on private jet travel in France, contact us or call our multi-lingual team on +44 (0)1747 642777