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EasyJet and Ryanair hit by French strikes

Ben McPartland · 10 Oct 2013, 08:40

Published: 10 Oct 2013 08:40 GMT+02:00

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The strike in France was supposed to be part of European-wide walk-out of air traffic controllers against the EUs “single sky” project.

However despite the industrial action being suspended at the last minute, disgruntled members of two French unions carried on with the strike, forcing airlines to cut flights in France on Thursday.

While the action will hardly bring chaos to the country’s airports, airlines in France forecast a 10 percent reduction in the number of flights on average.

Most of the disruption will affect those flying to destinations in southern France, Spain, Portugal and North Africa, French air authorities predicted.

At Paris Orly, where flights to the Mediterranean and Africa account for three quarters of the traffic, up to 30 percent of flights will be hit.

It will be a similar story at Charles de Gaulle airport to the north of Paris. French airports operator Aeroports de Paris are advising passengers to check the status of their flight with the airline before travelling to the airport.

Two airlines that will be most affected by the strike are the budget carriers EasyJet and Ryanair, which will be forced to cut up to one third of flights.

Easyjet has cancelled around 50 flights to and from Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and Basel-Mulhouse.

The disruptions will affect flights beyond France due to the fact that 70 percent of Easyjet flights pass through French airspace.

Ryanair has cancelled 70 flights on Thursday and German carrier Lufthansa will see disruption to flights in and out of Lyon and Marseille.

Story continues below…

The walk-out goes ahead after talks on Tuesday failed to lead to a resolution to the dispute. However airtraffic controllers in the rest of Europe are still hoping dialogue can resolve the row.

But if it does not, then we can expect to see further industrial action in the coming months on a much grander scale.

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Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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