Flights cancelled as French air traffic controllers on strike

Airlines cancelled half of flights scheduled for Paris on Friday and many others that would have flown over France, as a strike by air traffic controllers imposed the latest round of disruption on European air travel.

“It is inexplicable that thousands of European citizens/visitors will have their travel plans unfairly disrupted by yet another French ATC (air traffic control) strike,” Ryanair said in a statement. The travel plans of 80,000 passengers had been affected when it had cancelled 420 flights, mainly intended to fly over France, the airline added.

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Strikes and staff shortages in the past few months have forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights, dashing hopes for a sizzling first summer following widespread COVID-19 lockdowns, with disruption continuing into the autumn.

Air France said on Wednesday that due to the then impending strike it would operate only 45% of its short and medium-range flights and 90% of its long-haul flights.

“Everything is very quiet, as the passengers had been warned in advance and did not go to the airports,” a spokesperson of Groupe ADP, operator of the Parisian airports, told Reuters.

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The spokesperson added that airlines had tended to cut short and medium services rather than long ones.

Aviation authority DGAC asked airlines to halve their Friday flight schedules.

Air traffic control union SNCTA in a statement cited inflation and its demand for more staff members as reasons for the walkout.

Source: Reuters

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