Further airport strikes cause chaos, threaten to cancel up to 70% of flights

New strikes have been confirmed at one of Europe's busiest airports, which could lead to further flight cancellations.

Air traffic controllers at Paris-Orly airport have confirmed that strike action will take place later this month.

Further strikes could cancel 70% of flights this monthCredit: Reuters

Unsa Inca officials have threatened to strike from June 11 to 13, less than a month after their last strike.

A previous strike, which took place on May 25-26, resulted in the cancellation of 70% of flights to and from the airport.

The number of flights affected has not yet been confirmed as it depends on how many air traffic controllers decide to go on strike.

But there are fears that a similar strike could lead to similar cancellations.

The impact will not only be felt by passengers travelling to and from Paris, but also by airlines flying in French airspace.

The strike was sparked by disagreements over wage increases and hiring.

A union source told a local newspaper: “Orly has clearly been relegated to second place by the DGAC compared to other Paris airports. [Charles de Gaulle]Despite the fact that they have similar strategic importance.”

Airlines will be notified of the level of cancellations required 48 hours This was previously done by the French Civil Aviation Authority.

Airlines can decide which flights to cancel, with long-haul flights often being prioritized over short-haul flights.

A similar strike in April was called off at the last minute but still led to around 70% of flights being cancelled.

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other airport in France Paris Charles de Gaulle and Marseille airports were also affected, with between 45 and 65% of flights cancelled.

France's aviation authority DGAC warned passengers to expect “significant disruptions” to travel.

How much will a French air traffic controllers strike affect me?

Commenting on the strike, The Sun's travel head Lisa Minot said:

A strike by French air traffic controllers would not only affect passengers using Paris' two main airports, but could also cause major disruptions to flights from the UK to several other countries.

The strike affects all flights over French airspace and has in the past led to the cancellation of thousands of flights.

Further strikes may also be called during France's Olympic Games and peak holiday season as disagreements between small unions and French air traffic control authorities over changes to working conditions and higher pay remain unresolved.

Ryanair has appealed to the EU for legal protections for overflights during strikes – the most recent strike in April forced the cancellation of more than 3,000 flights, affecting 50,000 travellers.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said: “French air traffic controllers are free to strike, it's their right, but we should be cancelling flights out of France, not out of Ireland to Italy, Germany to Spain or Scandinavia to Portugal.”

“For five years, the European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, has failed to take any measures to protect the single market for overflight and air travel.”

“We are again calling on her to take steps to protect overflights, which would eliminate more than 90 percent of these flight cancellations.”

Ryanair was forced to cancel 300 flights in response, affecting 50,000 passengers.

It's not just the French strikes that have affected Brits heading out on holiday this year.

Last week, Border Force officers at London Heathrow Airport went on strike from May 31st to June 2nd.

The strike was held in protest against working conditions.

Unfortunately, Brits are unlikely to receive compensation if their flights are cancelled due to airport staff strikes.

This is because airlines consider this to be an “extraordinary situation” outside their control.

However, if you cancel your trip, the airline must offer you an alternative flight (on any airline) or a full refund.

Paris-Orly airport flights are the most affectedCredit: Alamy

Flight Compensation Rules

What are my rights if my flight is cancelled or delayed?

Under UK law, airlines are obliged to pay compensation if a plane arrives at its destination more than three hours late.

If you're flying to or from the UK, airlines should offer you a refund or the option of an alternative flight.

You can get a refund for any unused portion of your ticket.

So if you have a return flight booked and your outbound journey is cancelled, you will be refunded the full cost of your return ticket.

But if travel is essential, the airline will have to find an alternative flight, potentially with a different airline.

Under what circumstances am I not entitled to compensation?

Airlines are not obligated to provide refunds if a flight is canceled due to reasons outside the airline's control, such as bad weather.

It does not cover disruptions caused by extreme weather, strikes by airport or air traffic control personnel, or other “extraordinary events.”

Some airlines may stretch the definition of “extraordinary circumstances”, but this can be challenged through the aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Will my insurance cover me if my flight is cancelled?

If you are unable to claim compensation directly through the airline, you may be able to get reimbursement from your travel insurance.

Policies vary, so you'll need to check the fine print, but typically, a delay of 8-12 hours will mean you're eligible for some compensation from your insurance company.

Make sure you get written confirmation of the delay from the airport, as insurance companies will require proof.

If your flight is cancelled completely, your insurance will most likely not cover you.

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