A quarter of flights were canceled and two runways shut Thursday by a strike at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, the latest upheaval to hit the European transport industry struggling to meet higher demand for travel.
The walkout by a broad range of employees at the French capital’s international hub is also expected to cause delays for passengers whose flights weren’t scrapped, according to a spokeswoman. While the strike didn’t extend to Orly airport, some disruptions may also occur there, she said.
The labor strife at one of Europe’s biggest international airports comes after a series of disruptions for air travelers in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands as the industry struggles to ramp up after cutbacks during the pandemic. The prospect of new British disruptions looms as the RMT union plans to lead a three-day rail strike later this month.
Air France scrapped 85 short and medium-haul flights Thursday due to the walkout, a spokesman said. The French arm of Air France-KLM is maintaining long-haul services, albeit with some scheduling changes.
French unions are holding a protest at the airport’s Terminal 2 to demand an immediate 300-euro pay raise, according to a statement. “Despite traffic and profits coming back, our work isn’t being compensated enough,” the unions said. “This is a question of social justice.”
The flights were canceled between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. local time, with knock-on effects on services including baggage handling and security likely to last longer.