(AA) – Thousands of air travelers in France are facing a second day of chaos after about 2,000 flights were left grounded as a strike by air traffic controllers entered a second day.
Airlines were forced on Thursday to cancel half of their domestic and international flights a day after 1,700 flights were grounded.
“Disruption is expected over the whole country,” the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) said in a statement.
The 48-hour walk-out, which began at 5 a.m. on Wednesday and will run until 5 a.m. on Friday, came after the largest French union of air traffic controllers, SNCTA, called for the action as their dispute with management continued over their concerns over overloaded airspace and the raising of the retirement age for air traffic controllers by two years to 59.
The DGAC said on Wednesday compensation would not be paid to affected passengers as the industrial action was categorized as an “unforeseen circumstance” outside the control of airlines.
However, passengers will be entitled to food, drink and hotel accommodation if deemed necessary.
The SNCTA had initially programmed its action for 25 to 27 March, but postponed it due to the crash of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 in the French Alps in which 150 people died.
Further action is planned between April 16 and 18, and April 29 and May 2, the SNCTA said.