Flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and others in France face disruptions Friday that could last through the weekend amid a staff strike and protests demanding salary hikes to keep up with inflation.
It’s the latest issue at global airports this summer as travel resurges after two years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
French airports have been largely spared the recent chaos in London, Amsterdam, and some other European and U.S. cities. But on Friday, striking workers called attention to concerns over inflation with a walkout on the first big day of France’s domestic summer travel season.
France’s civil aviation authority said 17 per cent of scheduled flights out of Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris were cancelled between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time Friday, primarily affecting short-haul routes.
Protests were planned at both airports, and the Paris airports authority warned of potential delays in getting into terminals, and at check-in, passport control and security stations.
Unions said the strike could last through Sunday.
Paris airport workers are seeking a raise of six per cent retroactive to Jan. 1, while management is proposing three per cent, according to French media reports. Airport firefighters at Charles de Gaulle are also on strike with specific salary demands, forcing the airport to close some runways.
Energy prices fuel inflation
Inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro hit a record 8.6 per cent in June, pushed higher by a strong increase in energy costs fuelled partly by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Food prices also picked up pace.
Annual inflation in the eurozone surged past the 8.1 per cent in May, according to the latest numbers published Friday by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency. Inflation is at its highest level since record keeping for the euro began in 1997.
Energy prices rocketed by 41.9 per cent, and prices for food, alcohol and tobacco rose 8.9 per cent, both faster than increases in the previous month.
To combat soaring consumer prices, this summer, the European Central Bank is planning its first interest rate hike in 11 years, followed by another rise in September.