A passenger checks a board, which shows departing flights at Roissy Charles de Gaulle international airport during a previous strike by air traffic controllers. (file photo)
French air traffic controllers have launched a one-day strike over the European Union’s plans to centralize control of the region’s airspace, causing widespread travel disruptions to flights across Europe.
The Thursday walk-off against the EU’s “single sky project” caused delays and cancellations of flights to and from France.
The French civil aviation authority (DGAC) said that airlines had been asked prior to the work stoppage to cancel 10 percent of Thursday’s flights.
Air carriers British Airways and Easy Jet reported major disruptions to services to and from French cities, with dozens of cancelled flights.
German airline Lufthansa said it had made reductions to its flights to and from the French cities of Lyon and Marseilles.
The walk-off came as talks failed on October 8 to reach a resolution to the dispute regarding EU’s Single European Sky initiative.
The plans involve centralizing the air traffic control, instead of having each European member state monitor its own airspace. The European body says that the change could cut costs, reduce delays, and triple the region’s airspace.
However, air controllers are saying that the plan will affect safety and working conditions, adding that the proposed changes are also in violation of national sovereignty of European nations.
The strike was the second work stoppage since June, when traffic controllers staged a three-day strike to protest the air traffic control centralization.
Meanwhile, France was hit by another transportation strike on October 8 when workers of the French rail network launched a two-day strike against EU’s privatization measures of the public transport within the bloc from 2019.
Europe plunged into a financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms.