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French flights disrupted by Volotea strike, more delays this weekend

Unions have criticised the airline’s failure to inform passengers about the strike. Staff complaining of poor working conditions will take action again on April 23 and 24 

Volotea flights were disrupted over Easter weekend as a result of strike action Pic: InsectWorld / Shutterstock

Plane passengers travelling with Volotea over Easter weekend were affected by delays caused by strike action on Good Friday (April 15) which they had not previously been told about. 

One passenger told Franceinfo that her flight between Nice and Lille was delayed by four hours. “Towards 11:45-12:00, they began to say that there was going to be a delay but did not give any further information,” she said. 

“That was until I realised that our plane was going to Luxembourg, and would have to go [there] and come back.” 

Another flight to Luxembourg which had been scheduled to depart on Friday evening ended up being delayed by nearly 24 hours, after boarding was delayed when passengers were asked to wait for another flight to depart. 

Their wait was extended by an issue with their luggage, but then even when the flight took off the passengers could not relax. After one hour in the air, the pilot announced that the plane had to turn around because it could not land in Luxembourg Airport, which had “closed.” 

The plane therefore landed in Lyon, 500km away from its initial destination, and the passengers were sent to a hotel. At 10:30 the next morning, they were put on a bus to Luxembourg.

Around 60 passengers travelling from Toulouse to Fuerteventura were also left stranded for 24 hours when their flight was cancelled at the last minute, having to spend the night at an airport hotel while they waited for information from the airline.

“We understand the demands of the Volotea staff but we are the collateral damage of this strike,” said one passenger called Laurent at the time. “We have already lost two days of our holiday.” 

People travelling from Nantes, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Marseille and Lille experienced similar issues. 

The disruption was caused by a strike over working conditions on the part of Volotea pilots and cabin crew, who have criticised their treatment by management, low wages and regular schedule alterations.  

Staff are planning to renew strike action this weekend (April 23-4).

Unions have criticised the low-cost airline’s failure to notify passengers of the action, with the SNPC saying: “We sent our strike declarations 48 hours in advance so that the company could warn passengers that there would be flights cancelled this weekend.” 

The unions involved have therefore begun an official complaint against the company for “breaching strike laws.” 

Volotea has already been fined by French courts in the past for failure to respect employment law and exceeding permitted working hours. 

It is also waiting for judgement on a case regarding the “non-respect of flight times,” which should be handed down in June. 

Related articles 

Ryanair Easter strike in France called off as bosses agree union talks

Easter traffic, ferries and Flybe is back: eight France travel updates

New UK-France flight, ferry tailbacks: eight France travel updates

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