Widespread disruption is expected in French airspace for the next week as air traffic controllers stage a six-day strike. EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways have all cancelled flights today (June 24) on the first day of the walkout, which French authorities say is likely to result in the cancellation of 20% of flights in and out of the country. Eurocontrol has predicted the strike could result in 14,000 hours of delays for passengers. The strike, which is in protest of reforms to ATM planned through the Single European Sky programme (SES), has been condemned by IATA. “There are more borders in the skies over Europe than exist on land. And that comes at a great cost. In 2012, over 130 million hours of potentially productive time were wasted because of delays that could have been prevented with SES. It is indefensible that France’s air traffic controllers are now going on strike to perpetuate travel delays in Europe,” said Tony Tyler, IATA director general and CEO. The controllers argue that the changes required by SES will affect public safety, as well as their pay and conditions. In January, a similar two-day strike against SES was held by Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Co-ordination (ATCEUC), which represents 14,000 European air traffic controllers.