Large-scale demonstrations are set to occur throughout France on 24 January 2020 as part of an ongoing dispute over the government’s plans to reform the country’s pension system. While thousands of demonstrators have participated in previous actions, turnout is expected to be lower for the upcoming demonstrations, as fewer workers continue to participate in the strikes as of late. Union leaders have called for a “black out” of Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) and national rail operator Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) services, which could close bus, metro, the Réseau Express Régional (RER) and other train services. In Paris, protesters plan to march from the Place de la République to the Place de la Concorde beginning at 1100 local time (1000 UTC), but authorities have not yet approved the route. Authorities are expected to increase security measures in the city due to an increased risk of violence from protesters; these precautionary measures include closing down shops along protest routes, conducting precautionary checks on random individuals and increasing police officer presence along protest routes. Travelers in France should avoid all areas where large gatherings are taking place due to the probability of violence occurring during the ongoing protests.
Additionally, air traffic controllers plan to observe a strike across the country from 1900 local time (1800 UTC) on 23 January to 0630 local time on 25 January. While no flight cancellations have been announced and no significant disruptions are expected, travelers should nonetheless contact their respective airlines to check the status of their flights.