The General Directorate of Civil Aviation asked airlines on Friday to preventively cancel 70% of flights at Paris-Orly on Saturday, due to the call for a strike by an air traffic controllers union. “Air operators must reduce their commercial flight schedule for the day of May 25, 2024 from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. by 70% (…) at Paris-Orly airport,” according to a “notice for air missions” ( NOTAM) published by the DGAC.

Flights to overseas territories, many of which depart from Orly, are not affected by these requests for reductions in the name of “territorial continuity”, specifies Civil Aviation. Unsa-Icna, the second representative union of air traffic controllers (17% in the last professional elections), called a strike to demand “adequate staffing”, according to it not guaranteed by an agreement signed at the end of April between the DGAC and the main union of controllers, the SNCTA (60% of the votes).

The Minister for Transport Patrice Vergriete “deplored” this call for a strike, calling on air traffic controllers “to take responsibility”. “I deplore the behavior of some agents at local level, who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a majority agreement and make passengers pay the price. I appeal to their responsibility,” said the minister.

“Our managers persist, for Orly, in stinginess and apothecary calculations which will quickly reduce the teams to understaffing,” denounces Unsa-Icna in a leaflet. According to the union organization, the agreement signed at the last minute at the end of April does not resolve the issue of “understaffing” which is looming at Orly, according to it, by 2027.

This agreement on support measures, in particular salary, for the planned overhaul of air traffic control in France had been rejected by Unsa-Icna, as well as by the third representative union, Usac-CGT, which had maintained a prior notice strike for April 25. This movement resulted in the cancellation of several thousand flights in France and Europe. Parallel to the mobilization of Unsa-Icna in Orly, Usac-CGT filed a strike notice from May 23 to 30 to specifically protest against the weakening of the “territorial network” planned according to the union by the control reform. air.