If you’re flying to or through Western Europe this week, expect delays. If Paris is your destination, you aren’t getting there by air.
French air traffic controllers announced a three-day strike starting Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. and ending Friday at 5:59 a.m., but already travel has been snarled in Britain, where carriers there began canceling dozens of flights for the week and are –routing others to avoid French airspace. British Airways halted most of its flights to and from France Sunday.
France’s air traffic controllers are protesting the Single European Sky regulations aimed at unifying the way air traffic control is handled among European states, a process that will likely reduce the number of controllers needed. On Tuesday, the European Commission will announce a package of measures to expedite the process.
The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) has called for walkouts and rallies across Europe, but so far the heat of the action seems to be France. The protesters say the Single European Sky plan will lead to layoffs and more dangerous travel -- the latter allegation is dismissed by the European Commission.
“This should make #vinexpo kind of interesting!” New York-based wine consultant Christopher Miller posted to his Twitter account, referring to the annual wine and spirits convention taking place in Bordeaux from June 16, when international flights to France will likely be packed with travelers who were not able to fly this week.