France General Strike Affecting Air Travel April 6, 2023

France General Strike Affecting Air Travel April 6, 2023

The strike activity in France continues this week against the proposed change in the retirement age from 62 to 64 years + more extended work history to collect a full pension.

Air Traffic Controllers have confirmed that they will participate in this action, affecting trains and public transportation.

During these strikes, there is usually a 20% to 25% reduction in allowed flights from select French airports, which also affects flights that utilize French airspace.

Air France intends to fly their long-haul schedule and flights to/from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. There will be roughly a 20% reduction in all other flights.

Air Passenger Rights

The EU’s EC 261/2004 regulation covers passengers caught in this strike.

Remember that EC 261/2004 applies to all flights from the EU/EEA and community carriers’ flights outside the EU/EEA to the union. The UK has also instituted similar legislation, UK261.

Passengers can choose a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly delayed, even when the ticket is non-refundable.

Airlines must also rebook affected passengers to their final destination at the earliest opportunity, even when this means rebooking them on other airlines.

Significantly delayed passengers are also eligible for airline paid accommodation and meals.

Air France’s announcement:

Updated:  April 4, 2023  9:00 PM Paris local time

The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) has asked all airlines to reduce their flight schedules to and from Paris Orly and some French airports on April 6, 2023 as part of the national strike action in France. For this day, Air France plans to operate :

  • all its long-haul flights,
  • all its flights to and from Paris-Charles de Gaulle,
  • nearly 8 out of 10 flights to and from certain French airports.

Delays and last-minute cancellations cannot be ruled out. The flight schedule is being updated and customers affected by cancelled flight are notified individually by SMS, e mail or via the Air France application.


The demonstrations against the retirement age and benefit changes have plagued France for the past few weeks.

The majority of flights have gone forward, but there have been some delays and cancellations also on flights that merely utilize the French airspace.

If your travel tomorrow involves flying to/from/through/over France, you should monitor your itinerary for possible changes.