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UPDATE Flights hit in control strike

Ryanair, easyJet and Air France services disrupted as French controllers walk out over European plans

FLIGHTS passing through French airspace were disrupted today as French air traffic controllers' unions went on strike.

Although the disruption was estimated at just 10%, it still meant Ryanair had to cut 70 flights to France and across Europe with easyJet cancelling around 40 flights, mostly to Nice and Paris Charles-de-Gaulle. Air France said it had cut 30% of flights, with Paris-Orly, Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Toulouse affected.

A Europe-wide air traffic control strike had been planned for today but was called off last week. However, French controllers decided to continue with the action in protest at plans to reorganise and privatise European airspace, citing “unrealistic” targets of cutting costs by 50% by 2019.

The European Commission had announced that it was willing to look again at the issue, but the French unions UNSA-ICNA and SPAC-CFDT, representing a quarter of the country’s air traffic controllers, called a new walkout claiming it had no confidence in the European Commission with an objective of cost cutting for air traffic control.

The French aviation authority Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile asked airlines to reduce their flight schedules by 30% until the afternoon. It said the worst disruption would be for traffic to the south of France, including Spain, Portugal and north Africa.

Both Ryanair and easyJet have listed cancelled flights, but all passengers flying today should contact their company before heading to the airport, to see if their flight is affected.

Ryanair services affected
easyJet services affected

Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely said: “Ryanair regrets to advise passengers that over 70 flights will be cancelled on Thursday 10th October due to French ATC strikes and further delays and cancellations are likely. We sincerely apologise to all passengers who have had their travel plans disrupted by these unjustified ATC strikes."
Photo: fred goldstein -

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