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Flights cancelled on day of protest

140 marches planned across France in protest against President Hollande’s controversial “Responsibility Pact”

HUNDREDS of flights have been cancelled across France today as air traffic controllers take part in a wider day of action by public service workers against President François Hollande’s “Responsibility Pact”.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) yesterday asked airlines to reduce their flights in and out of Paris airports Roissy-Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais by 30%, and 20% in and out of Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Toulouse.

It said in a statement that “disruption is expected across the whole of the country” and invited passengers to check the status of their flights with the airline before heading to the airport.

Yesterday, both Ryanair and easyJet warned passengers about disruption to their flight schedules.

There had been fears that the walkout would affect public transport in France, but both SNCF and Île-de-France regional network operator RATP have both moved to reassure commuters that no disruption to today’s timetable was expected.

RATP had been providing free public transport in and around Paris during the air pollution crisis.

The 24-hour walkout that has hit air travel in France is part of a wider protest against Mr Hollande’s controversial “Responsibility Pact” and comes five days before the first round of municipal elections.

A total of 140 demonstrations and rallies are planned across the country, according to the CGT, which denounced the initiative as a “pact of convenience”, saying that it will lead to thousands of job losses.

The largest march will be in Paris, and will leave Montparnasse at 1.30pm, heading to des Invalides.

The Responsibility Pact includes a €50bn cut in public spending over the next three years to finance tax breaks for businesses looking to employ more staff.

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