France Announces Widespread Flight Cancellations During System Upgrade in 2024

France Announces Widespread Flight Cancellations During System Upgrade in 2024

In a bid to modernise its outdated air traffic control infrastructure, France has announced widespread flight cancellations.

Thousands of flights will likely be cancelled while French air traffic control updates its ‘antiquated' computer systems.

The cancellations will take place between 09 January and 14 February. 

The ambitious upgrade targets the replacement of the existing ‘antiquated' computer systems with the more advanced 4-flight program, impacting approximately 80 percent of the tasks performed by air traffic controllers. 

The installation is slated for early 2024, necessitating the cancellation of around 16,500 flights to facilitate a smooth transition.

To manage the disruptions, airlines have been instructed to decrease flight operations at Paris' Charles de Gaulle, Orly, Le Bourget, and Beauvais airports by 20 percent during the upgrade period.

Which Flights Will Be Cancelled

French air traffic controllers handle around 3 million flights per year, of which many are passing through French airspace as they travel across Europe. 

Even if not flying to or from France, a flight could still be affected if it needs to pass through French airspace. Over 2.5 million journeys fly through French airspace each year and it is likely the disruption will have a knock-on effect throughout Europe.

Would-be passengers for that period should check advice on their airline’s website. Air France has already announced its changes, with long-haul flights prioritised and the carrier telling French media it had been “forced” to focus on cutting short and medium-haul flights.

Anyone whose January or February flight is affected will be contacted by their airline and offered rebooking on another available flight. 

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