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Air traffic controllers’ strike disrupts flights across France

media Travellers watch for information updates in French airport as strike goes … Reuters

Scores of flights were cancelled in French airports as air traffic controllers go on strike to protest plans to integrate French air traffic control into a European system. In Paris, half the flights at Orly airport were cancelled as were 20 per cent of the flights at Roissy airport.

With the holiday season in full swing, holiday-makers might find their summer plans disrupted as last-ditch attempts to reach an agreement between trade unions and air traffic authorities failed on Monday.

Short- and medium-haul flights were particularly disrupted as airports at Metz-Nancy, Dinard, Bergerac, Brest, Pau, La Rochelle and Biarritz were closed according to the AFP wire service.

National carrier Air France says all its long-haul flights are scheduled to run normally on Wednesday. It says 80 per cent of short- and medium-haul routes would operate at Charles de Gaulle, while half of short- and medium-haul flights would run at Orly.

At the Paris airport of Beauvais, which specialises in low-cost flights, 29 per cent of flights were cancelled on Wednesday.

According to the CGT trade union, half the air traffic controllers went on strike, figures which they say were similar to strikes in January and February.

Many flights in Marseille, Nice, Bordeaux-Merignac, Lyon Saint-Exupery, Limoges and Lille were cancelled on Wednesday.

At Marseille airport, 68 flights were cancelled (33 incoming, 35 outgoing), which amount to 22 per cent of the daily traffic.

In Nice, the French Riviera's most important airport, 29 flights were cancelled, meaning close to ten per cent of the flights were cancelled.

Unions of air traffic controllers are striking over a plan to unify European airspace. The Single European Sky concept is meant to ensure greater efficiency and deal with a projected increase in traffic, but French air traffic controllers are worried about how it will affect them.

What to do if you are flying to or from France :

Before the flight: Call the airline or check their website:

Check here for Easyjet flights

Check here for Air France flights

Check here for Ryanair flights

If your flight is cancelled: Easyjet and Air France both reimburse flights which have been cancelled. Ryanair will offer an alternative flights under certain conditions (be sure to check conditions on their website).


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