Air franceresized

70% of all flights to and from France to be cancelled on April 25th

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Update: the SNCTA union has reached a last-minute agreement and lifted its strike notice, but the other unions are continuing with their strike plans, which will cause numerous flight cancellations on Thursday, April 25.

A “Black day” has been announced for French airports on this upcoming Thursday, April 25th as air traffic controllers responsible for monitoring all air travel in France will be going on strike.

Why the strike?

If it seems like you’ve read this before, it’s because you did - almost exactly one year ago. The French, unionised Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) have been pushing forward motions to increase working conditions and salaries. Unfortunately, they cannot seem to reach an agreement with the French government, which has led to another strike set to affect over 70% of all flights to and from France on Thursday.

French ATC strike: Will my flight be cancelled?

Passengers, prepare for… grounding! If you were planning on flying out of Paris Orly or Charles de Gaulle airports especially, we recommend that you make alternative plans. Up to 75% of flights will be cancelled at Orly and 65% at Charles de Gaulle. Regional airports will be no exception as severe delays and cancellations are expected all over the country.

French ATC strike flight cancellations: Should I worry?

Short answer, yes. The odds are very high that if you were flying into or out of France this week, your flight will be cancelled or at the very least severely delayed. And that’s not all - the SNCTA union has already announced that if the issue does not resolve itself within two weeks, a three day strike will occur between May 9 and May 11.

Flight cancellations: Understanding your rights during ATC strikes

When it comes to flight cancellations due to ATC strikes, claiming cash compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004 isn't possible. This is because ATC strikes are not considered to be the airlines’ responsibility and are therefore known as an "extraordinary circumstance," absolving airlines from financial liability.

Flight called due to ATC strike: What you're entitled to

While monetary compensation might be off the table, passengers affected by ATC strikes still have rights. According to EU regulations, airlines must provide either a refund for the ticket or an alternative means to reach the final destination. Additionally, passengers should expect assistance during the delay, including provisions for meals, refreshments, and accommodation if necessary.

French ATC strike: The bottom line

Despite the lack of monetary reimbursement, airlines still have to support passengers impacted by ATC strikes, ensuring a level of care and assistance during the disruption. Remember that although this case is considered an extraordinary circumstance, airlines often claim extraordinary circumstances when one did not in fact occur. Examples of these include bad weather, natural catastrophes, airport personnel delays and more.

So, even if an airline refuses to compensate you alleging extraordinary circumstances, be sure to submit your flight to our free Claim Calculator - our claim experts will analyse your claim and cross check detailed aviation data to make sure that you are able to claim the compensation you deserve!