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Merci Beaucoup - French Freeze Flights Again

Friday April 10, 2015

Merci Beaucoup - French Freeze Flights Again

In some ways you’ve got to hand it to the French. As whilst British workers meekly watch their hard earned rights being eroded by zero hours contracts and ever rising retirement ages our ever bolshie cross-Channel cousins have been at the barricades once again, bringing chaos to flight services across southern Europe.

France has effectively been closed for the last 48 hours as a planned national strike has bought the country to a standstill, creating travel chaos for tourists hoping to fly to Lanzarote, or indeed any other destination that is normally reached via French airspace. With Air Traffic Controllers staging their now customary annual Spring walkout for the third time in as many years.

What’s their beef this time? The French Air Traffic Controllers are notorious for having more strikes than a box of Swan Vestas and this year they are protesting at attempts to raise their retirement age from 57 to 59. Whilst on previous occasions they’ve downed tools over plans to create a single European airspace and threats to cut their budgets.

Whatever the issue the impact on travelers is always the same – resulting in widespread disruption as thousands of flights were cancelled at short notice on Wednesday and Thursday.

British tourists flying to Lanzarote were seriously affected, as some services were grounded whilst others were forced to divert across Atlantic airspace instead, adding around half an hour to journey times on top of already lengthy delays.

And there’s plenty more to come, as the French will be walking out again from April 16th to 18th and from April 29th to May 2nd.

 

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