Today’s industrial action in France is the prelude to an “unprecedented strike wave” bringing chaos to European flights over the peak summer holiday period.

The latest French air traffic controllers strike is expected to last for 35 hours and will see more than 200 flights cancelled, delays and time-consuming detours, lobby group Airlines for Europe (A4E) warned.

Eight further strikes have been already announced in Italy and Portugal over the next four weeks and more than 1,000 flights at risk of being cancelled.

A4E managing director Thomas Reynaert said: “European travellers face a summer of chaos, disruption and ruined holidays due to ATC strikes.

“Just this week nine strike days have been confirmed for June and July and they surely won’t be the last.

“There has never been a greater urgency for the European Commission and the governments to act and to protect the rights of millions of European travellers affected by this unceasing strike actions.

“There is nothing stopping further ATC strikes – we need urgent action to stop these controllers from infringing on people’s rights and destroying their holiday plans.”

He added: “Next Tuesday, our member airlines’ CEOs will meet with key industry players in Brussels to pave the way for technological, operational and political solutions to minimise strike effects.

“We will call for immediate action to prevent the holidays of European families being spoilt by these strikes which cause uncertainty and disruption for our customers.”

ATC strikes in Greece, Italy, Belgium and France since March caused more than 3,000 flight cancellations among A4E members.