By Neil Halligan
Two Emirates flights cancelled, Etihad flight rescheduled
Flights to Paris have been either cancelled or delayed as a result of the French strike by air traffic control staff.
Emirates and Etihad have confirmed that flights to Paris on Thursday have been affected as a result of the two-day disruption, which is now in its second day. No flights from the UAE were affected yesterday, the airlines confirmed.
An Emirates spokesperson said it has cancelled two flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport planned for Thursday - the first was due to leave at 2.50pm and the second was due to take-off at 9.50pm tonight. No other flights to and from France have been affected.
“Due to a nationwide strike by Air Traffic Control staff in France, Emirates can confirm that flights EK075 Dubai to Paris and EK076 Paris to Dubai on Thursday 9 April have been cancelled,” a spokesperson said.
“This decision was made following the French civil aviation authorities imposing a mandatory schedule reduction on all airlines operating into the country. All other Emirates services to and from France on Thursday 9 April will operate to schedule.”
Etihad, through a series of tweets on its Twitter account (@etihadairways), said its EY37flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle, which was due to leave this morning at 9am, has now been rescheduled to depart at 3am on Friday April 10. It said guests have been informed of the delay and that they will be assisted with their onward travel arrangements. The decision was taken following meetings with French Air Traffic Control Union and French government officials.
The UAE flights were not the only ones to be affected by the two-day stoppage by air traffic controllers, who are upset over work conditions and plans to raise their retirement age to 59 from 57.
The French civil aviation authority (DGAC) said as many as one in two flights would be scrapped on Thursday, the second day of the strike.
The state-employed air traffic controllers are threatening further two-day stoppages later in April and at the start of May - when school breaks and public holidays boost vacation traffic - over what they say is management refusal to take their demands seriously.
In a blog post, the SNCTA trade union denounced plans to raise the age at which controllers are entitled to retire and highlighted other complaints, including declining staff numbers at a time of increasing national and European regulation.
Air France had advised passengers on Tuesday that 40 percent of medium-haul flights would be cancelled, with as many as two thirds of short-haul flights scrapped at Paris Orly and other French airports.