Generating PDF

New French law is positive first step to reducing delays from ATC strikes but more action needed to protect EU Single Market

By  Brussels,

Brussels, 22 December 2023- A new French law that will require air traffic controllers (ATCs) to declare their individual participation in a strike at least 48 hours in advance represents a significant first step in reducing disruption for passengers. 2023 saw France accounting for the majority of ATC strike days in the EU with 67 in total. This resulted in over 4000 flights cancelled, 24,000 flights delayed and impacted over 11 million passengers either originating or arriving in France, as well as those overflying the country.

The new law, which takes effect from today, means ATC workers’ right to strike will be the same as other aviation workers and those working in other modes of transport. This will better enable the French Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), the DGAC, to determine the number of striking employees which should mean it will be able to keep air traffic reductions to a minimum.

While the French law is a welcome development, more needs to be done to address the chronic disruption to passengers caused by ATC strikes across Europe. A4E continues to call for further measures to be implemented including mandatory arbitration and protection of overflights, without impacting local traffic, to further reduce the impact of ATC strikes on European connectivity.

Commenting on the French law taking effect Ourania Georgoutsakou, Managing Director of Airlines for Europe (A4E), said,

“Millions of passengers have had their travel plans thrown into chaos this year thanks to numerous ATC strikes. France’s new law is a welcome development but it is not a complete solution. A4E has consistently stated that more can and must be done to deal with the disruption caused by ATC strikes. The European Commission and Member States should work together to make 2024 the year where they finally deliver to ensure smoother skies for European travellers.”


Notes to Editor

A4E has published a Call for Action on ATC Strikes in Europe for European policymakers, please click here to access it.

About A4E

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association. Based in Brussels, A4E works with policymakers to ensure aviation policy continues to connect Europeans with the world in a safe, competitive and sustainable manner. As a key initiator of aviation’s Destination 2050 roadmap, A4E and its members committed to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for their own operations by 2050. With a modern fleet of over 3,300 aircraft, A4E airlines carried over 610 million passengers in 2022 and served nearly 2,000 destinations. Each year, A4E members transport more than 4 million tonnes of vital goods and equipment to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft.

Media contact

Kevin Hiney, Communications Director,, Tel. + 32 499 82 82 94