French air traffic controllers call off third day of strike

A planned third day of the strike by French air traffic controllers, which was to take place tomorrow (Thursday June 13), has been called off.

The strike is still causing disruption today however, with around 1,800 of a total of 7,650 flights expected to suffer cancellation following the loss of a similar number yesterday.

The strike is in protest at an EU proposal to create a single European air space, to be known as the ‘Single European Sky.’ Fears for the working conditions of individual countries’ air traffic workers, in addition to fears raised by unions over the safety implications of the proposal, had resulted in the French workers organising the 3-day protest. The industrial action was expected to spread across Europe during the week, as air traffic workers in other countries that would be affected by the proposal registered their dissent.

The cancellation of the strike’s third day by the French workers has come about due to what unions claim is encouraging support from the French and German governments against the ‘Single European Sky’ proposal.

This support came in the form of Frederic Cuvillier, the French transport minister, announcing on Monday that he had collaborated with his German counterpart in handing the European transport commissioner a memorandum, requesting that the European executive freezes the project, as national authorities need more time to adapt to the planned organisation.

Airlines that have suffered disruption to their schedules, and the associated loss of revenue, will now be hoping that the more conciliatory stance that has been adopted by the French workers in the light of the recent developments will be mirrored by their colleagues across Europe, and bring an end to the industrial action for now.