Monday, May 1, will see the biggest disruption in the skies over France since protests against unpopular pension reform got underway earlier this year.

Air Traffic Controllers will demonstrate their formidable bargaining power with disruptions planned across the country.

The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has asked airlines to give up a third of their flight program at Paris-Orly and a quarter at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle.

Many regional airports will also be affected, including Nice. Thirty-three percent of flights will have to be cancelled preventatively in Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nantes and Toulouse, while 25 percent of flights will be cancelled in Nice and Beauvais.

The DGAC recommended that passengers avoid flying on Monday. Many international flights that overfly France will also be disrupted.

The European air traffic monitoring body, Eurocontrol, estimates that 10 million passengers were affected by ATC strikes between March and early April. Of 3,500 cancelled flights, 500 were ‘hot’ stoppages, meaning that passengers had no warning before their flights were cancelled at short notice.

FILE PHOTO: Jack Brodie