UPDATE: French air traffic controllers announce three more strike days

The French air traffic controllers' union has announced three extra strike days - in addition to the strike on Friday which has seen 1,000 flights cancelled.


The SNCTA union, the main union that represents air traffic controllers, has declared its intention to strike on Friday, September 16th in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

The Direction générale de l’aviation civile (DGAC) has asked airlines to cancel half of all their flights in and out of France on Friday, and is recommending that passengers postpone their travel plans, due to the likelihood of “severe” disruption.

In total 1,000 flights have been cancelled – click HERE for full details.

The strike notice runs from Friday, September 16th at 6am to Saturday, September 17th at 6am, although it is likely that flights over the weekend will also be disrupted as airlines deal with the knock-on effects.

The SNCTA has since announced three more strike days – on Wednesday, September 28th, Thursday, September 29th and Friday, September 30th.

The full scale of the disruption for those days is not yet known, cancellations will be announced nearer the time, so check our travel page HERE for updates.

The September 16th strike notice covers all airports in France, as well as French overseas territories such as the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Gaudeloupe.

READ ALSO Your rights on delayed or cancelled flights in France

The DGAC said it is in discussions with the Eurocontrol aviation traffic manager to propose alternative routes for airlines to avoid French airspace.

The SNCTA said for its part that the strike was a response to severe inflation that is eroding spending power of its members, and worries about “future recruitment.”

The move comes as the French government is preparing to unveil its 2023 budget, which the union says fails to guarantee the DGAC’s financing and could limit its its ability to offer pay hikes.

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UPDATE: French air traffic controllers cancel strike action in September

The main union representing French air traffic controllers has cancelled calls for a strike from September 28th to 30th, after "reaching an agreement with their supervisory ministry."

SNCTA, the main union for air traffic controllers said this week that they had lifted their calls for a three-day strike at the end of September after coming to an agreement with France Ministry of Transport. 

In a statement on its website, the SNCTA said “In view of the concrete progress made on the demands, the SNCTA is lifting its [strike] notice for September 28th, 29th and 30th. The strong mobilisation of September 16th was necessary and instrumental for reaching this conciliation in a very constrained calendar. Thank you to all of you!” 

The French ministry of transport has not yet commented on the above agreement or lifting of the strike.

The International Air Transport Association tweeted their support for the SNCTA’s decision to cancel further industrial action, calling Friday’s strike “unnecessary.”

The association also urged the European Union to implement a “Single European Sky.” This reform, which was put forward almost 20 years ago, has not yet reached fruition. It intends to shift the current system of air traffic organisation away from national borders and toward a “coherent zone” in order to reduce emissions and save both time and money.

The strike on September 16th left over 1,000 flights in France grounded, as well as widespread delays and over 2,400 flight cancellations across Europe. 

The SNCTA mobilised for wage increases due to the rising cost of living, in addition to an acceleration of recruitment in order to anticipate a wave of retirements. After Friday’s action, the union had called for further strikes from September 28th to 30th before reaching an agreement with their supervisory ministry.