French air traffic controllers cancel Friday strike and declare ‘Olympic truce’

France's main union of air traffic controllers has agreed not to call strike action until both the Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted by Paris are finished in September 2024 - including calling off a strike planned for Friday.

French air traffic controllers cancel Friday strike and declare 'Olympic truce'

The so-called “Olympics Truce” by the SNCTA union had been announced earlier by Transport Minister Clement Beaune after conciliation meetings that also saw the lifting of a strike notice for Friday, September 15th.

The agreement provides for “an increase in compensation”, “a commitment to an Olympics truce until September 2024” and the principle of new salary discussions at this deadline, one of the national secretaries of the SNCTA told AFP, asking not to be identified by name.

Beaune earlier hailed “the commitment made by unions to avoid any social movements during the current and upcoming major sporting events of the Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

The lifting of the September 15th strike action would also allow the ongoing Rugby World Cup to “proceed smoothly”, Beaune said.

Strike action by French air traffic controllers could play havoc with the travel plans of the participants and thousands of foreign visitors expected to converge on Paris for the Games.

The agreement with the SNCTA does not mean that other air traffic controllers unions cannot call strikes before or during the Olympics – but the SNCTA is the largest union and therefore has the potential to cause the most disruption.

Earlier calls by regional politicians for a ban on strikes during the Olympics were rejected as unconstitutional. 

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1.2 million tickets left for Paris Olympics: organisers

Organisers of the Paris Olympics said on Wednesday that there were still 1.2 million tickets left for the Games, mostly for football, basketball and handball.

1.2 million tickets left for Paris Olympics: organisers

Team sports such as football have struggled to sell out the large venues chosen for the matches, while organisers are also set to release new more sought-after places for the finals of the swimming and athletics from Thursday.

You can find the official tickets site HERE, and the resale website HERE.

READ MORE: How to get Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics tickets

“More than 50,000 tickets will be put on sale in more than 30 sports (on Thursday),” deputy director general Mickael Aloisio told reporters.

The Paris Games have set a new record for the total number of tickets sold, with the 8.7 million purchased surpassing the previous high of 8.3 million at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

“More than 60 percent” of tickets have been sold in France, Aloisio said.

Organisers faced severe criticism from fans and even some athletes over the cost of tickets when they were first released last year, which undermined the promise of a “people’s Olympics”.