French air controllers still on overtime pay despite Covid

French air controllers are still being paid controversial bonuses of €255-550 per month for "summer extra hours worked", even as the French air travel sector is in crisis following the Covid-19 pandemic.

24 July 2020
By Joanna York

The bonuses are still being given to 2,000 air controllers in France, it has emerged, even though the money is intended to remunerate extra work undertaken during the typically busy summer period. 

Yet, due to coronavirus pandemic, air travel in France is currently only at 30% of usual volume.

Read more: French flight boss: Air travel ‘not normal’ until 2023

An anonymous employee from executive management in France’s civil aviation body, la Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile, told news source Franceinfo: “It’s frankly indecent to have a bonus at this level for work that hasn’t been done because the traffic is not there. And, yet, a certain number of controllers are still going to be paid for 'increasing their productivity'.”

The bonuses, which have existed since 2016, are normally given as remuneration during the summer period when air traffic usually increases by up to 30% (although it can also be given in winter if needed). 

Trade unions for the controllers have insisted that bonuses during this period have been justified, but are engaging in ongoing negotiations. 

Loïc Parisi, national secretary of union Le Syndicat National des Contrôleurs de Trafic Aérien told FranceInfo: “We accept to work towards an evolution of the organisation of work… to postpone workdays that haven’t been able to be completed due to Covid-19 over the next three years.”

Related stories

EU consumer rights violated by airlines during Covid-19

Ryanair demands French staff take pay cuts

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Income Tax in France 2021 (for 2020 income)*
Featured Help Guide
Order your Income Tax in France guide now for immediate digital access
Get news, views and information from France