A thousand flights were cancelled, passengers were turned away and delays were longer than usual: air traffic in Europe was disrupted today by a strike by French air traffic controllers.
The strike action was called by the National Union of Air Traffic Controllers (SNCTA) demanding wage increases due to inflation, but also the acceleration of recruitment.
France's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) had asked airlines to preemptively halve their current flight schedule, meaning "the cancellation of around 1.000 flights" to and from French territory.
Controller security is in place at 16 airports, as well as at the five centers that control flights passing through French airspace and flying above 6.000 meters, but other airports were closed, including Montpellier, La Rochelle and Rennes. , according to DGAC.
DGAC had invited passengers who can postpone their travel, while the companies individually informed their customers whose flight was canceled and offered them flight postponements or refunds.
The strike has consequences for all European air traffic. According to Eurocontrol, at 12:24 (13:24 Greek time) flight delays exceeded a total of 560.000 minutes. By comparison, delays were 148.000 minutes on the whole of Friday 9 September.
Those delays of 25 minutes on average per flight were, according to Eurocontrol, 86% due to the strike in France.