Beware Of Travel Disruptions As Yet Another French Pilot Strike Looms In Early May 2019

French pilot union SNPL which is representing pilots of many different airlines is considering labor action in the second week of May (May 6-11) which would inevitably impact travelers.

The strike could affect all airlines operating in France, including the biggest one Air France or budget carriers such as EasyJet and Vueling.

France is notorious for their strikes and the aviation sector has seen some pretty bizarre scenes as well including once when union officials incited violence against Air France managers who had to be evacuated after.

Reuters just reported that pilot union SNPL, which is representing pilots of many different airlines, is considering labor action between May 6-11th.

France’s main pilot union, the SNPL has warned the government it will call a strike from May 6 to May 11, which could affect all airlines operating in France, if a new law threatens to diminish its powers of representation.

The union fears that a transport law being discussed in parliament could group them with other larger trade unions in the sector in negotiations with legislators or employers, drowning out their voice particularly on issues that concern pilots, La Tribune newspaper reported on Thursday.

The newspaper said the union has sent a nationwide strike notice to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne and Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud.

The strike could affect all airlines operating in France including Air France, Aigle Azur, Corsair, XL Airways, Easy Jet and Vueling.

As soon as strike action seems likely, airlines will usually put travel waivers in place allowing travelers to postpone or cancel the trip without any fee. These notices will be posted on the airlines website.

If you’re an overseas traveler and get stranded due to a strike, you might want to check with your travel insurance beforehand as to what is covered in such circumstance.


This strike may affect flights even when the origin/destination is not in France if the pilots work for airlines which are registered as a french company, so watch your itineraries!

Remember that carriers required by EC 261/2004 legislation to provide duty to care for stranded passengers (accommodation, meals and calls) and rebook them to final destination at their (passengers) earliest convenience. Cash compensation per EC 261/2004 for cancellations/delays doesn’t apply if it is due to strike.

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